Jeremy Hunt’s cuts mean the NHS will be forced to deny hearing aids to deaf people

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (via Telegraph)

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (via Telegraph)

There are some stories which come to define a leader or government. Whether it was Margaret Thatcher ‘milk snatcher’ withdrawing free milk from schools as Education Secretary, or Tony ‘Bliar’ Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier.’ For David Cameron and his Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – it might be this.

For the first time in it’s history, the NHS will be denying hearing aids to deaf people. As I read the story in the Guardian this morning, I actually felt my breath catch in my throat.

The GP-led NHS clinical commissioning group in North Staffordshire is taking the unprecedented step of ceasing to provide free hearing aids to mainly elderly people in its area with mild hearing loss.

It is also making it harder for those with moderate hearing loss to get access to hearing aids by introducing new eligibility criteria against which patients will be judged.

Campaigners and hearing experts have criticised the new policy as “ill thought-through, baffling and unprecedented”.

The CCG says the new restrictions are necessary to help it save money, and will save it about £200,000 in the first year. But the charity Action on Hearing Loss claims that hearing aids cost the NHS as little as £90 each.

To put that £200,000 of cuts (because seriously, what are we saving the money for if it’s not to treat patients?) in perspective – it is HALF the sum spent paying off a single NHS executive this year. David Flory was Chief Executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority and a close advisor to Jeremy Hunt. When he chose to stand down in March, he was given a “termination payment” of between £410,000 and £415,000 – on top of his £235,000 salary.

Austerity for whom?

While those with the least are expected to make enormous sacrifices, those with the most are having their lifestyle subsidised by the taxpayer. This government is a compassion-free zone, and it’s on us all to build a kinder, fairer society.

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7 thoughts on “Jeremy Hunt’s cuts mean the NHS will be forced to deny hearing aids to deaf people

  1. Once again a sensationalist headline not backed up by the facts. It appears that hearing aids would be denied to “mainly elderly people with mild hearing loss”. From personal experience I know that certain therapies are denied to people with mild back or neck pain, so what’s all the fuss about? There’s still enormous waste of taxpayers’ money across government and I don’t see a problem with clearly defined qualification criteria for free services.

    • Nice straw man you have there. Say bye!
      You don’t get social exclusion from mild back or neck pain.

      Hearing loss is different in that regard.
      In addition, these people have paid into the NHS for years through NI. This decision to deny them access to that basic care shows how unplugged the Health Secretary is from reality.

    • Until you have heard what it is like to have even a mild hearing loss, don’t think it’s easy. deafness is like a badly tuned radio, if you will, nd gets progressively worse and worse. the sooner you are used to a hearing aid, the easier it is to acclimatise to them as presbyacusis comes on.
      Everyone gets presbyacusis anyway, you can’t get out of it. and the noisy world we live in is getting increasingly noisier… which causes deafness over time too.
      look up the “speech banana” on google, go see 40Db hearing loss on the y axis and look across, you’ll see there are a lot of sounds you will no longer hear. Go figure.

  2. I can’t believe I have just read this, am I Imagining this, are you serious? are they having a laugh? I can’t believe this sick group called a government can actually do this. They should dispose of the posh blue suits and dress in naszi uniforms like the SS that is what they are replicating.

  3. um, i suppose that they may also have worked out that if these elderly patients can no longer hear they’re much more likely to get run over or suffer other major ‘accidents’ resulting in death far sooner…..which will actually save many hundreds of millions as they will no longer need hip replacements or other expesnive items…..and of course you can’t claim state pension when you are dead!

    besides, all those people currently employed to supply hearing aids to patients are also going to lose their jobs….redunancy payments are obviously going to be a great deal higher than the 200k per year they’re supposedly saving….knock on effects will also include less spending in thecommunity, so all local businesses effected and they will obviously now have to resort to crime in order to survive/ support themselves and their families…..leading to higher costs in pigyobbing and jail these people….of course those figures dnt show up on ‘that’ balance sheet…..

    obviously i’m taking the p a lil bit, it’s not a delusion

  4. Pingback: Jeremy Hunt’s cuts mean the NHS will be forced to deny hearing aids to deaf people | Scriptonite Daily | sdbast

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