NHS Hearing aid cost cutting?
After austerity measures from the UK government, there are many departments which will be feeling the pinch.
Since 2011, ministers have demanded that £20bn in cuts be made over a 4 year period to reduce the UK’s economic deficit. However, as we have come to find out, this has had a detrimental impact on the NHS’s ability to deliver, particularly the audiology department that dispenses their NHS Hearing aids.
It has been reported that NHS patients in Devon who are looking for hearing aids will not longer get access to devices on both sides, limiting their dispensing to one side.
This decision has been made by the local NHS group as a second hearing aid was not seen as been cost effective enough.
Dr Tim Burke, chair of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said “second hearing aids show far lesser cost effectiveness than the first.”
One ear or two?
Like our vision, our hearing mechanism relies on input from both ears to locate sound sources. One ear simply cannot do the work of two. To achieve the most natural hearing experience, it is vital that both ears work equally well.
Two-ear hearing is called binaural. Recent studies show that those wearing two instruments understand more clearly and enjoy better sound.
The balancing act
Two ears make our hearing more balanced and enable us to determine which direction a sound is coming from, like the location of an oncoming car or the position of someone speaking to you.
Hearing with both ears is far more comfortable too. With both ears working together, less amplification is needed to hear everyday sounds and lower volume means less distraction background noise.
Seven reasons why people find two hearing aids better than one!
- Better understanding in speech
- Better understanding in a group or even in a noisy situation
- Better ability to tell which direction sounds are coming from
- Better sound qulity
- Greater listening comfort
- Hearing is less tiring and more pleasant
- Keeping both ears active preserves speech understand in both ears