The appeal against NICE report on cochlear implants

Well, the appeal hearing on the NICE appraisal of cochlear implants was riveting…

It turned out that the people appealing were two commissioning groups, representing nine primary care trusts from Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South Central region of England. Just as Sandra Massey said in her comment to the previous post, their reasons for appealing were basically around cost. It’s worth reminding ourselves that cochlear implants are the most expensive operation provided by the NHS. If the NHS is now to start providing two cochlear implants to deaf children, it’s not surprising that primary care trusts won’t want to put up a fight. A shame it’s a fight that may have such a serious impact on deaf children’s life chances. Their detailed legal reasons for appeaing have been published on the NICE website.

The hearing was interesting. There have been so many twists and turns in the whole process that I wouldn’t want to bet on what will happen next. But the fact that the appeal panel asked lots of detailed questions of the primary care trusts seemed to be bad news for them and good news for us. For example, the panel made the same point as MM did – that there had been plenty of time for the appellants to make their case on previous occasions.

But who knows what will happen? The panel normally make up their minds in around 21 days. So watch this space.


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