Following the Government’s launch of a public consultation on whether or not to roll out a national adult hearing screening programme, the UK’s leading hearing loss charity, Action on Hearing Loss, is calling on members of the public to share their experiences and make their voices heard.
The Hearing Screening for Life campaign, set up by a coalition of charities including Action on Hearing Loss and Age UK covering hearing loss, ageing and other health conditions such as dementia has been campaigning for the four million people in the UK with undiagnosed hearing loss to be offered hearing aids and support at the right time.
Rob Burley, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at charity Action on Hearing Loss, said:
“As the number of people with hearing loss rises, this is a great opportunity for the public to show why we urgently need a national screening programme to test people’s hearing and emphasise the real benefits of early detection. Although the Government has acknowledged hearing loss is a priority, it’s sad that the majority of people wait 10 years until seeking professional advice and are at a greater risk of becoming isolated and of developing conditions such as dementia. Your stories could really help us demonstrate why nationwide screening would ensure everybody gets help when they need it.”
People who are worried about their hearing can see their GP and receive free digital hearing aids available through the NHS. Despite this, four million people in the UK live with an unaddressed hearing loss, leading to growing calls for people aged 65 to be automatically invited to a hearing check.
The National Screening Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Government about national screening programmes and the Hearing Screening for Life coalition will be submitting a response to its consultation with evidence provided by people’s personal stories to strengthen the case to introduce an automatic hearing screening programme for older people. Anyone who would like to contribute to the Government’s consultation can contact Action on Hearing Loss at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/hearingscreening by 3 September.