Adult Hearing Services
Hearing loss is a major public health issue affecting over 10 million people in the UK - one in six of the population. As our society ages this number is set to grow and by 2031 it is estimated that there will be more than 14.5 million people with hearing loss in the UK.
Hearing loss has significant personal and social costs and can lead to high levels of social isolation and consequent mental ill health. It more than doubles the risk of depression in older people and those with mild hearing loss have nearly double the chance of developing dementia; this risk increases significantly for those with moderate and severe hearing loss.
Although there is currently no cure for age-related hearing loss, NHS North Norfolk CCG has funded a number of NHS and independent sector companies to provide concerned people over 50 with an assessment of their hearing and if necessary fitting of hearing aids. The update below provides information on recent changes to the way this service is delivered.
Update: Adult Hearing Services
Patients over 50 years of age with age-related hearing loss in North Norfolk and rural Broadland will be seen by independent sector companies. Patients with complex needs can still be referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS FT (NNUH) or to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHSFT (QEHKL) and they will continue to provide aftercare, including repairs, to the large number of patients who have previously been assessed and fitted with hearing aids at these two hospitals.
- Asymmetric hearing loss
- Conductive hearing loss
- Severe/profound hearing loss
- Fluctuating hearing loss
- Very poor dexterity
- Distressing/bothersome tinnitus
- Mastoid, chronic perforations
- Learning disability
- Registered partially sighted/blind
To ensure these patients receive the best possible service now and in the future, we have agreed the following points with all current and past providers:
- Patients that have had hearing aids fitted by either of the two hospitals should continue to seek aftercare or repairs at that provider. This covers difficulty in replacing batteries, cleaning or replacing tubing or checks to see if an aid is faulty and simple repairs.
- Patients complaining of deteriorating hearing should return to their original provider to ensure that the problem does not relate to the hearing aid requiring retuning or repair. If it appears that the patient’s hearing has deteriorated they will need to be referred to one of the current providers for reassessment and fitting.
Any hearing aid user who has previously had an ENT appointment (even many years ago) is eligible for ongoing care under Audiology and can approach the service directly for a re-assessment.
A list of current providers of adult hearing services can be found on the ‘Patient Choice – Community Services’ spreadsheet available here.
Contact the CCG via the ‘Contact Us’ tab on this website, or by emailing nnccg.contactus [at] nhs.net for more information.