Impaired hearing among individuals with hearing loss can be corrected with the help of hearing aids. In a controversial move, Britain's National Health Service (NHS) clinical commissioning group (CCG) in North Staffordshire will start denying free hearing aids for elderly people with mild hearing problems. Critics claim that this will worsen sufferers' social isolation.
The CCG said, "The new restrictions are necessary to help it save money. But the charity 'Action on Hearing Loss' claims that hearing aids cost the NHS about 90 pounds each ($136)."
Huw Cooper, chair of the British Society of Audiology, also condemned this move. He said, "We are deeply concerned at the failure of the CCG to take account of the evidence, and the threat this new policy poses for local patients and the continued provision of hearing aids across the UK. Hearing aids are the main treatment for hearing loss and it is of huge concern that audiologists will not be able to give them to all patients who need them."