Search the Site

News and views

Stay informed

Home / News and views
News > News Article

27 October 2023

NCHA member update - 27 October

This month:

Ear wax management updates

BSHAA has extended its consultation on a proposed aural care register until 1 December. Read more and participate. The NCHA submitted its response to the original deadline - read our submission.
The Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance recently discussed the importance of access to safe and equitable wax management for all, with the NCHA clarifying the existing regulatory framework in the UK. In a joint statement, BSA and BAA have reiterated some facts about regulation shared at the Alliance meeting and have offered further views on wax management in the UK while expressing concerns about proposals for an aural care register before the consultation closes. The BSHAA has issued a statement supporting the BSA and BAA statement.
Harjit Sandhu, NCHA managing director, said: "At the NCHA, we have a long history of promoting evidence-based practice and analysing population needs, health regulation and NHS commissioning. Our members are already helping meet the nation's aural care needs in safe and effective clinical settings across the UK. Still, there are significant gaps in NHS commissioning, and this is worsening inequalities in access. That is why we are calling on the NHS to commission services from qualified providers so people with earwax get the right support, at the right time, from the right place."
The NCHA policy team has also read social media posts which raise concerns that patients might be put at risk by unqualified people performing wax management. If you have evidence of such cases or want to discuss health regulation in the UK, please email [email protected]. In the meantime, can members please ensure they continue to adhere to HCPC guidance on the use of social media.

New music single gets nation talking about hearing loss

Rick Astley has re-recorded his hit single, Never Gonna Give You Up, with the wrong lyrics to raise awareness about hearing loss. In partnership with Specsavers Audiology, the singer aims to encourage people to act on hearing loss sooner and seek help. Social media, music magazines and national news have widely reported the initiative.

Nightlife body launches safe listening campaign

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has launched the Listen for Life campaign to engage and inform people about safe listening at venues and events.

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, hosted the campaign launch at the House of Commons. The campaign promoted hearing testing, raising awareness and protection against hearing damage and tinnitus for bar staff, performers, security personnel and crew members.

Gene therapy trial aims to restore hearing

Children with severe-to-profound hearing loss will receive gene therapy in a pioneering trial aimed at restoring hearing in those with auditory neuropathy.
Auditory neuropathy is a form of sensorineural hearing loss where the ear can detect sound. However, lack of the otoferlin protein means the sound signals are not transmitted correctly to the brain.
The trial will recruit up to 18 children from the UK, Spain and the US for gene therapy in the form of an injection under anaesthetic that will deliver a working copy of the faulty OTOF gene to the cochlea. Cambridge University Hospitals Trust is taking part in the trial. Learn more.

HCPC consultation on English language requirements

The HCPC is reviewing its English language proficiency requirements for international applicants.
A consultation on the proposed changes, including a series of public engagement webinars, will close on 19 January 2024.
The proposed changes include plans to:

  • Require applicants to provide evidence of an English language qualification, moving away from self-declaration
  • Develop a comprehensive list of approved English tests
  • Broaden the acceptable evidence to include that of previous work in a majority English-speaking country and supervised work experience.

Please get involved by sending your feedback to [email protected] by 4 January 2024.

Deaf identity in audiology

Navigating the audiology landscape can be challenging for the Deaf community. Dr Celia Hulme talks about the motivation for hearing-aid use among signers and shares the results of her experience and research in an interview with ENT & Audiology News.

Other sector news

  • An alliance of healthcare regulators, including the HCPC, published their whistleblowing disclosures report for the financial year 2022/23. Read more
  • BIHIMA calls for better accessibility and listening support for theatregoers with hearing needs
  • RNID reports progress on accessible Couch to 5K app
  • HCPC update on registration fees.

Health policy news

The King's Fund provides a short overview of political party health plans as campaigning for the next election begins. As in all elections since the 1990s, the goal remains to shift care from hospitals towards primary and community services, focusing on prevention. Read more.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
 criticises the postcode lottery for patients who depend on urgent and emergency care. Read more.

MHRA, FDA and Health Canada
have published five guiding principles for machine learning-enabled medical devices. These build on the 10 guiding principles for good machine-learning practice. Read more.

The Care and Quality Commission
painted a gloomy picture of the NHS, describing a move towards a two-tier healthcare system as it published its annual assessment of health care and social care in England.
The Department of Health and Social Care introduced the long-awaited Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023 into parliament. The new regime aims to move away from competition in all circumstances and remove barriers to integrated care and collaboration.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows many patients continue to face difficulties in contacting their GP. Almost a third (32%) of those who tried over the past month struggled to get in touch.?The NCHA said: "The ONS data shows that GP colleagues remain under pressure. Self-referral to audiology, a priority for the NHS in England, would help reduce this pressure and needs to be rolled out nationally quickly to help free up GP time and improve access to care for all."
Westminster Hall debate. Parliamentarians debated the government's four commitments to improving BSL's importance and delivering policy and communications within government, parliament, and broader society. Read more. The RNID said the debate shows how far the government still has to go.










Share this page
For more information please contact:

Press enquiries

Media enquiries should be directed to [email protected] or call 020 7298 5110.

We are happy to put you in touch with our expert policy advisers who can comment on a variety of issues.

You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.