Parliamentary debate on Hearing Loss and Deafness clarifies NICE timetable for review

The Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Deafness Jim Fitzpatrick MP led a Westminster Hall debate on Hearing Loss and Deafness on the 30th of November. Leading off the debate he thanked the Action Group for its input and asked the Government for clarification on the progress of the NICE review on TA166;

I secured an Adjournment debate on cochlear implants in March, in which the then Minister David Mowat advised me that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence would consult on new proposals by the ​end of the summer. We are still awaiting that consultation, so any information from the Minister would be very welcome.”

Responding the The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Steve Brine MP said that;

“NICE is working on a list review for this particular technology appraisal and will consult with stakeholders in 2018, so I will make sure that he and all other hon. Members who have raised this matter get early sight of that and do not have to go looking for it or hear about it in the media. I am absolutely sure that this will include consideration of thresholds and criteria for getting cochlear implants. I understand that NICE is planning this consultation because of its recognition of how important this is, going beyond the usual review process.”

A number of other MP’s spoke movingly about the plight of constituents who have not been able to access Cochlear Implants because of the current restrictive criteria including Pat McFadden MP who ended his speech by stating;

It is time for a step change in the urgency with which the issue of cochlear implants is treated. The guidelines must be revised. NICE needs to move on that soon, so that the suffering of my constituent Lamina Lloyd, and the many people around the country who are in a similar position, can be alleviated.” 

While Teresa Pearce MP, echoing our Spend to Save Campaign, reflected on the challenges of a young constituent who fell short of the guidelines noted that;

The spending of taxpayers’ money at this point would potentially be handsomely repaid over the lifetime of that young boy. It might be expensive, but what is the financial and social expense of not funding it?”

The full debate from Hansard can be accessed here

Following clarification on the timing the Action Group will be pressing NICE for a firm date in 2018 for the stakeholder consultation.

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