The Alliance has welcomed the new guidance NICE has issued (4th Jan 2019) 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
The new guidance states 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 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”
These changes mark a significant change in the guidance which will ensure that hundreds of additional children and adults will benefit from this technology.
The new guidance marks the culmination of a 3 year campaign by the sector to evidence and promote the need for these changes. The new guidelines reflect research published in Cochlear Implants International https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ycii20/17/sup1.
The Alliance 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.