NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG

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Audiology review for patients aged 55 years or older

Audiology Review August 2017

Blackburn with Darwen CCG has recently agreed to lead on the review of the AQP Audiology (Direct Access Adult Hearing Service for Age Related Hearing Loss for patients aged 55 years or older) contract across Lancashire. The two main providers of this service in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen are Specsavers and East Lancashire Hospital Trust.

The review began in response to a growing number of issues and concerns expressed by GP’s, patients and service providers on the lack of clarity of the referral pathway, issues with communication between services and funding of ‘lost’ hearing aids.

The CCG has worked with providers on urgent actions that need to be taken to address immediate issues and have developed a Project Group who is in liaison with other CCG’s and the National Community Hearing Association (NCHA) in order to review service delivery and models in other areas and draw upon national and regional learning

The aim of the service review is to undertake a collaborative approach to review the service and pathway across Lancashire to provide recommendations to Commissioners for improvement. The outcome is to ensure that there is a consistent and clear delivery of services which provides a positive patient experience and increased satisfaction which is delivered locally and equitably.

The new improved service is aimed at ensuring:

  • Timely and convenient appointments
  • Consistent pathway for all people with hearing loss
  • Equitable service wherever you live in Lancashire
  • Value for money
  • Improved accessibility
  • Positive outcomes
  • Opportunity for self-referral
  • Improved patient satisfaction accessing the service

The CCG’s held three engagement events with patients/carers, service providers, stakeholders, third sector and other key organisations to provide an opportunity and forum to share their knowledge, experience, best practice and ideas to make improvements to the Audiology Services across Pennine Lancashire  (Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire). The results will now be fed into the overall service review and part of the recommendations to Lancashire CCG’s.