SVC Recommendation 13: Funding Hearing Aids
The Scottish Government and NHS(S) should make funding available so that veterans with the most severe hearing loss as a result of their military service can have access to the best possible hearing aids and support.
Scottish Government update:
Patients’ needs are assessed by an audiologist, taking account of product specification, flexibility and cosmetic appearance, leading to a recommendation of a specific hearing aid. Typically, a like for like replacement is provided. For example if a patient – veteran or otherwise – has previously worn “in the ear” (ITE) hearing aids, and provided it is still technically appropriate, they should receive replacement ITEs. Custom ITE hearing aids are defined as “specialist” and offer a mainly cosmetic difference rather than significant technical advantage over “behind the ear” (BTE) hearing aids. ITEs are not routinely provided by NHS Audiology Services, mainly due to cost (often several times the price of BTEs) and being seen as less reliable and requiring more maintenance. ITEs may be prescribed where there is a physical fit issue or where personal protective equipment or other head wear may make the wearing of a BTE difficult. In the past, ITEs have been prescribed due to BTEs not meeting the acoustic performance required to overcome hearing loss. However, most hearing loss can now be resolved to the same standard with a BTE.
SVC evaluation of status:
Partially implemented / ongoing