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07 October 2022

NCHA member update – 7 October

This week:

NHS commissioners remove barriers to accessing support for hearing loss

The newly formed Integrated Care System (ICS) in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent announced on 23 September that it would reverse the 2015 decision to restrict access to hearing aids for adults based on the threshold of hearing loss and other criteria. Read the NCHA's response.

World Hearing Day 2023 - primary care audiology

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the theme for World Hearing Day 2023 will be 'Ear and hearing care for all!'. The day will focus on integrated ear and hearing care within a primary care setting.
WHO has been clear that primary care can manage most ear and hearing care problems. As WHO focuses its initiatives on developing healthcare systems, World Hearing Day resources will help general practitioners better understand ear and hearing health problems.
David Hewlett of the NCHA said: "From the outset, the NCHA's goal has been better hearing care for all, so we are delighted that WHO is also calling for this. While WHO will support GPs worldwide, we must go further in the UK. We already have an advanced primary care audiology system. We now need to expand access to this care so that people do not suffer inequalities in access to essential ear and hearing services. Recognition of and access to this fifth primary care service for all adults is long overdue."
Read: NCHA calls for audiology to be the fifth primary care service.
To find out more about NCHA health policy initiatives, email [email protected].

HCPC consultation on changes to fees

The HCPC proposes to increase its annual registrant fee by £19.62, making the new fee £117.74.
The HCPC is consulting on this and other proposed fee increases. To take part directly, visit the HCPC or email the NCHA at [email protected] with your views and we will respond on behalf of members.
The consultation will close at 23.59 on 15 December 2022.

NCHA CRM switchover

NCHA will soon switch to a new customer relationship management (CRM) system.
For security reasons, we do not store members' login details. So, from 10 October, we will ask you to reset your password to continue using the NCHA website.
Please log in to the website from Monday and reset your password at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Remote care for ear infection criticised

The BBC reported that a man being managed remotely rather than face-to-face by his GP died following an ear infection. The delay in diagnosis and treatment is being investigated as the man suffered a fatal abscess on the brainstem. Read more.

AI shows promise in diagnosing ear infections

Early research has shown an artificial intelligence (AI) model to be significantly more accurate than doctors at diagnosing paediatric ear infections. Read more.

Finance update

It has been a bumpy ride after the mini-budget, but some key points for members are:

  • The basic rate of income tax is to be cut from 20% to 19% from April 2023, a year earlier than initially planned 
  • This year's NI rise will be cancelled on 6 November for both employers and employees  
  • A planned increase to corporation tax is withdrawn, keeping it at the current rate of 19%
  • The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) will remain at £1m rather than the planned reduction to £200,000 from 1 April 2023. Also, 100% tax relief on capital investments in plant and machinery up to £1m will remain in place
  • The government has scrapped the planned 1.25% increase in dividend tax from 6 April 2023.

The government has also confirmed plans to introduce a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme. Like the Energy Price Guarantee for households, the scheme will discount wholesale gas and electricity prices for all UK businesses experiencing significantly inflated gas and electricity prices.
The support will depend on your contract type, but it should apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. So, you should see savings in October bills, typically received in November, and taking the form of a p/kWh discount applied automatically.
A parallel scheme will be established in Northern Ireland and offer comparable support.

Finally, HMRC has reminded businesses that from 1 November 2022: 

  • They can no longer use their existing VAT online account to file quarterly or monthly VAT returns 
  • They can file annual VAT returns using their VAT online account until 15 May 2023.

Other sector news

The RNID will be re-running a campaign to encourage people to act on symptoms of hearing loss. This follows research still showing that many adults report hearing difficulties but have not taken action to see an audiologist. Read more.

The 2022 Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) Hearing Expo happens on 25 and 26 November. Learn more and book.

The UK Hearing Conservation Association will host its first conference, Listen Up, on 3 November 2022 in Manchester. Learn more.

Mark Smith, an MSc Clinical Science (Neurosensory Science) student at The University of Manchester, is researching how audiologists across the UK provide hearing care services for musicians. Read more and get involved








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