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28 October 2022

NCHA member update – 28 October

This week:

Government invests in hearing loss

Section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 requires a report to be placed before Parliament each year on progress made in government-funded research about assistive technology.
This year the report shows that millions of pounds have been invested in hearing-related research. This includes projects on developing new software to address issues around hearing loss and difficulties in distinguishing speech in noisy environments.
More than £3 million has also been invested in COG-MHEAR, which aims to "completely rethink the way hearing aids are designed".

Get involved

A student at Aston University is looking for volunteers to participate in an interview covering your views on implementing cognitive screening in audiology. Read more and get involved.
In addition, researchers at the University of Nottingham are keen for UK-based audiology services to complete a survey about managing people with dementia. Learn more

Business news

Pharma company Lilly has acquired a precision genetic medicine company developing a portfolio of adeno-associated viral gene therapies for treating inner ear conditions, including sensorineural hearing loss. Read more.
The FDA has written to all US states to clarify its rule establishing a regulatory category of OTC hearing aids, setting out the intention to allow more people to access OTC aids over time. Meanwhile, the New York Times carried a feature on OTC hearing aids. It shows that in the US, such devices cost more than audiology care pathways in the UK.

Health policy news

ENT under pressure
The Nuffield Trust responded to recent NHS performance figures from NHS England by highlighting that seven million people were now waiting for planned treatment. It added: "Patients waiting for ear, nose and throat treatment face the longest waits on average, with only just over half of people getting an appointment within 18 weeks."
NAO report
Value for Money report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on Integrated Care Systems (ICS) in England concludes that it will be challenging for the NHS in England to meet the policy's original goals. It reported that the DHSC, NHSE and partners could address this by developing national-level strategies and solutions to give ICSs time to build relationships and design services that "better meet local needs" and improve "the health and wellbeing of the populations they serve".

NOA has also launched an interactive map of England, allowing users to explore ICS data collected to inform the NAO study. With the tool, you can see measures such as efficiency targets, workforce data and the number of GPs per 100,000 population. 
NHS estate costs revealed

NHS Digital has published data showing the cost of running the NHS estate was £11.1bn, an 8.8% increase since 2020/21. It also said it would cost £10.2bn to eradicate 'backlog maintenance'. Read more.

NHS England's operating framework

NHS England has published its latest operating framework, which sets out how it will operate with Integrated Care Boards and Systems in the new structure created by the 2022 Health and Care Act.

Other sector news

The Hearing Journal advises people new to tinnitus and provides updates on advances in tinnitus prevention, assessment and management.

Deanne Thomas has been appointed CEO of the British Tinnitus Association.

Cochlear implantation candidacy
should be seen as part of the hearing care continuum, say authors.
The HCPC is running a consultation on preceptorship programmes to support health and care professionals to develop and maintain confident, safe and effective practice throughout their careers. Learn more and take part.







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