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.