News

BAA releases new video on the benefits of Cochlear Implants

Less than 7% of eligible adults are being fitted with a cochlear implant in the UK.  This means it is important that people with severe and profound hearing loss are aware of how cochlear implants could improve their lives.  There is now an excellent video, produced by the BAA, which can be accessed at; https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kcwatbIWpkY&feature=youtu.be.

The video provides practical information about the impact of severe and profound hearing loss, the benefits of cochlear implants, the criteria for who is eligible and information about the operation and follow up. This is all done in an accessible graphic style and includes where to go for further information. Please do promote this excellent resource through your own networks.

There is also more information from the BAA on cochlear implants at;  https://www.baaudiology.org/indexphpnews/news-home/its-time-talk-about-cochlear-implants/

NICE Issue Final Guidance on Cochlear Implant criteria

The Action Group has today (7th March) welcomed the new guidelines on published by NICE on Cochlear Implants. The guidelines will expand the criteria that health professionals use when determining who is eligible for a cochlear implant within the NHS. The Action Group has been working with key professional and patient groups to secure these changes for the last three years. This is great news for adults and children who have not been able to access this life changing technology. The Action Group looks forward to working with the NHS to ensure that the new guidelines are fully implemented. 

The final guidelines state that;

For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing only sounds that are louder than 80 dB HL (pure-tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80 dB HL) at 2 or more frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz and 4,000 Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids. Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:

  • for adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the Arthur Boothroyd word test presented at 70 dBA
  • for children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability. [2009, amended 2018]

They can be accessed at  https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/TA566/chapter/1-Recommendations

There is a resource impact report for commissioners at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta566/resources
NICE estimate that the total number of people treated will increase from around 1,260 people per annum in England to 2,790 by 2023/24.

Action Group welcomes new NICE guidelines on cochlear implant candidacy

Hundreds more children and adults eligible for cochlear implants on the NHS

Following the work of  Action Group members working with the British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) NICE has today (4th Jan 2019) issued new guidance on the candidacy criteria for cochlear implants; https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/hundreds-more-children-and-adults-eligible-for-cochlear-implants-on-the-nhs

This marks the culmination of a 3 year campaign by the sector to evidence and promote the need for these changes-see previous posts. The new guidelines are welcome and reflect the evidence submitted by the Action Group based on significant work undertaken by BCIG in creating a consensus document for the sector and previous research published in Cochlear Implants International https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ycii20/17/sup1.

The Action Group will now be working to ensure that the guidelines are fully promoted and understood across the health system so that all who can benefit from this life changing technology are able to do so. It is also imperative that NHSE now ensures that Cochlear Implant Clinics are fully funded to ensure that those who are eligible can have an implant.

Action Group Responds to NICE consultation on TA166 candidacy requirements

The Action Group today (20.7.2018) submitted our suggested revised candidacy criteria to NICE as part of their stakeholder consultation. More details on the consultation can be found here https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ta10362

NICE will now examine the suggestions from the consultation and come back with new candidacy criteria for a further stage of consultation in August before considering recommendations in October.

Our suggested new candidacy criteria for section 1.5 of TA166;

“For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing sounds that are greater than or equal to 80dBHL (≥80dBHL) at two or more frequencies (at 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 3000Hz and 4000Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids.

Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:

  • For adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the AB word test presented at 70dB SPL A
  • For children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability”

Evidence for this can be found in our previous submission-link below and in the research section. Our response to NICE can be found here collated-response-bcig-action-group-for-response-final-16-1-2018-3 (1)

Action Group Responds to NICE Stakeholder consultation on TA166

The Action Group has responded (23.1.2018) to the proposal from NICE to review the candidacy criteria in Sec 1.5 of the NICE guidelines on Cochlear Implants TA166 . The Action Group has welcomed the proposal to review the candidacy guidelines and made suggestions on what the new guidelines should include.  The key suggestions from the Action Group are that the wording should be changed to include the following;

“Cochlear Implants should be considered for children and adults with deafness in the severe to profound range, with hearing function that is severely impaired, and for whom optimally fitted conventional hearing aids do not provide adequate benefit. For adults, adequate benefit from hearing aids is considered to be sufficient access to meet an individual’s communication, social, education and employment needs. For children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.

For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing sounds that are greater than or equal to 80 dBHL (≥80dBHL) at two or more frequencies (at 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 3,000Hz and 4000Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids.

Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:

  • For adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the AB word test
  • For children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.

For all candidates, the multidisciplinary clinical team should consider that cochlear implantation is likely to provide additional benefit beyond that which can be provided through conventional hearing aids.”

This recommendation was supported by extensive evidence collected by the Action Group, analysis of the British Cochlear Implant Groups consensus process and the service review undertaken by Nottingham and UCL Universities.

For the full Action Group Response see;

Candidacy Requirements for TA166 Final 1

We look forward to working with NICE further as it reviews the guidelines.