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.
There is currently no cure for age-related hearing loss, NHS North Norfolk CCG has funded a number of independent sector companies to provide concerned people over 50 with an assessment of their hearing and if necessary fitting of hearing aids.
Patients over 50 years of age with age-related hearing loss in Central Norfolk 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.
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.
Ear Clearance Services
North Norfolk CCG commissions an Ear Clearance Service from Acle Medical Partnership, delivered at Acle and Aylsham. Contact your GP surgery if you have particularly troublesome symptoms or eardrops haven't helped after three to five days. Your GP or practice nurse will look inside your ears to check if they're blocked and might carry out some simple hearing tests. They may suggest using eardrops for a bit longer, or they may carry out a minor procedure called ear irrigation to clean out your ear canal.
If these treatments aren't suitable or don't help, your GP may refer you to the Community Ear Clearance Service for microsuction. This is a criteria based service and your GP will discuss this with you.
Only patients with complex ear clearance needs will be referred to secondary ENT or Audiology services