One year anniversary of NICE report on cochlear implants

Image courtesy of Maíra Soares

It’s nearly a year now since NICE recommended that all severely to profoundly deaf children should be given the option of a cochlear implant in one or both ears – so now seems a good time to check again that local health boards in England are getting on with it.

The good news is that initial figures suggest that most of them are. Considering it’s a fairly expensive operation, this is no mean achievement. A pat on the back for these people seems well deserved

The bad news is that do appear to be a few malcontents popping up around the country. Whilst I don’t believe for a moment that it really is grim up north, I have to note that one of the worse offenders appears to be the Cheshire area in the North West where NDCS has supporting a family who wanted their deaf son to have a second cochlear implant (having already received one implant). The NICE recommendations allow this – and patients have a legal right to anything recommended by NICE. Despite this, this family were forced to go through lots of pointless bureacratic hoops and make several funding requests before the local health board caved in. Totally not on. The story got covered in their local paper, and hopefully the local health board won’t try it and pull a cheeky one again.

NDCS is keeping an eye out for similiar stories around England, and taking swift action where it does. Please get in touch if you have any specific examples to share, and we’ll get on the case.


3 thoughts on “One year anniversary of NICE report on cochlear implants

  1. It sounds like economics, the South of England is more affluent. Statistically the North are poorer areas (As are parts of Wales),where demands on health services are very high due to disbailites and other factors. The old postcode lottery thing. If there is no central funding, then local areas can’t afford them. All CI’s should eb directly funded as a stand-alone thing, not left to accountants in primary care trusts around the country, who will just say half your hearing is better than none…

    • Hi,

      I’ll need to double check but my understanding is that the only data comes from data on 18 week waiting times. I’m unsure if this will tell you who has been refused. So far, most of our information is coming from professionals on the ground.


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