MP learns about audiology pressures

Pictured is Mike Weir with Robert Geaney of Action on Hearing Loss

Pictured is Mike Weir with Robert Geaney of Action on Hearing Loss

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Angus MP, Mike Weir, met with Action on Hearing Loss at an event in Westminster to learn about the demand of audiology services.

The charity has produced a new Under Pressure report, which stated that demand for NHS audiology services in Scotland has increased during the last two years.

Hearing loss affects an estimated one in six people in Angus and, with an ageing population, the number of people who need help with their hearing loss is set to soar in coming years.

Mr Weir attended the parliamentary event to discuss the charity’s research findings and become informed about services which can provide life-changing support for his constituents who have hearing loss.

He said: “I was delighted to meet with Action on Hearing Loss to discuss the issue of audiology services.

“I was pleased to hear that the situation in Scotland is much better than in many areas of the UK, although that does not mean that there is not room for improvement.

“Action on Hearing Loss estimate that there are around 10,500 people in Angus who suffer from hearing loss which demonstrates the need for comprehensive services.”

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Mike Weir MP realises the importance of patients not suffering a reduced quality of service due to increases in demand on audiology departments; as well as the positive impacts which third sector volunteers can play in services that are designed to meet the individual needs of patients.

“People – including those who are elderly and housebound or have mobility difficulties – should have easily accessible services in their communities to ensure they can make informed decisions about what support they would like to help them manage their hearing loss; without unnecessary travel or other barriers affecting their everyday life.”

Fifty five per cent of people aged over 60, and 70 per cent of people over 70, have some form of hearing loss and the charity says that untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, mental health problems, as well as increasing the risk and impact of dementia and other long-term health conditions.

The charity outlined various recommendations on the back of the Under Pressure report, including ensuring that quality standards are in place and are enforced, to provide evidence-based guidance to service providers and commissioners.

They also recommend support for commissioning bodies to invest properly in the provision of audiology services to meet growing demand, and to not cut funding for these vital, cost-effective services.

To read Action on Hearing Loss’s Under Pressure report, visit www.actionhearingloss.org.uk/underpressure