House of Commons
HEARING LOSS AND DEMENTIA
EDM #477
Tabled 31 October 2017
2017-19 Session
That this House acknowledges that hearing loss is the largest potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia, as confirmed in the recent report of the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care, which found that mid-life hearing loss is responsible for nine per cent of the risk of dementia; recognises that action to minimise hearing loss in people aged 55 and over could therefore lead to a significant reduction in dementia cases; notes that the evidence suggests that hearing aids can help to prevent or slow deterioration in cognitive function, and could prevent or delay dementia; welcomes the Government's Action Plan on Hearing Loss, which identified the growing prevalence of hearing loss and recognised a fivefold increase in the risk of developing dementia for over 60 year olds with severe hearing loss; is concerned that the aims of this guidance are undermined by proposals from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to restrict the provision of hearing aids to patients with mild and moderate hearing loss; further notes that the three year patient pathway for hearing aids costs the NHS just £370, and that any short-term savings achieved through the rationing of hearing aids will therefore be outweighed by avoidable costs in the health and social care system further down the line; and calls on the Government to safeguard the continued provision of free NHS hearing aids by working to disseminate to CCGs the evidence on the clinical and cost benefits of hearings aids.