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Cilla Black opens up on hearing loss

National treasure and host of over 500 TV shows, Cilla Black has revealed her personal battle with hearing loss. She blames her time spent working as a coat check girl in Liverpool's famous Cavern Club for her hearing impairment. 

Cilla, who has surgically implanted hearing aids, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I blame the Cavern. All those years in a place with no proper acoustics, I think it may have done some damage.’

‘I think it's been a gradual thing... I didn't actually realise how bad it had got until I was with a friend in Barbados and I said to her, ''Why are you whispering?'' She said to me, ''Cilla I am not whispering, it is you who has a hearing problem.''

More on this story.

Stop the cuts to hearing aid services! Complete by end of Thursday 31 July.

Stop the cuts to hearing aid services! Please complete this online petition by end of Thursday 31 July.

The North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently reviewing whether to continue to provide NHS funded hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss.

To do this the CCG has a group known as the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) which uses clinical evidence to score services and treatments (interventions). The CCG sets a threshold score and if an intervention scores below this threshold it will be considered for decommissioning.

It was through this process that hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss was considered. The score fell below the threshold for funding and so the CCG needs to carefully consider whether we continue to provide NHS funded hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.

 The proposals are:

  • NHS hearing aids would no longer be provided for adults with low or moderate age-related hearing loss
  • These patients would still be eligible for free NHS hearing tests
  • Adult with severe or profound hearing loss would remain unaffected
  • Adult who currently have hearing aids will not have them taken away
  • Adult with moderate hearing loss would become eligible for hearing aids if their hearing deteriorates

For more information see the website http://www.northstaffsccg.nhs.uk/hearing-aids/

Even if you don't live in this area please respond to give your view on this proposal by completing this survey.

Response by Dr Lorraine Gailey, CEO Hearing Link

'The proposal by North Staffordshire CCG to cease supplying hearing aids to older adults with mild and moderate hearing loss in order to save costs is both concerning, and puzzling.

It is concerning because there is  overwhelming evidence that effective early management of hearing loss is associated not only with a better quality  of life for older people, but also with a significant reduction in the risk of developing other health conditions such as depression, confusion and cognitive decline including dementia.

It is puzzling for the same reason: the relatively low cost of providing hearing aids for mild and moderate losses is much less than the cost of providing care for these associated conditions - not counting the high social and emotional costs they bring.

The CCG has a responsibility to explore ways of allocating scarce resources wisely, but we are confident that when they examine the facts and the evidence carefully they will realise their proposal does not make economic sense.'

13 June 2014 Letter from Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance to Norman Lamb MP 

We are writing as a matter of urgency to express our grave concern over North Staffordshire CCG’s decision to launch a consultation into the decommissioning of hearing aids for people with a mild or moderate age-related hearing loss.

We are the Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance, a national coalition of the major public, private and voluntary sector organisations with an interest in hearing loss. Whilst we of course understand that local decision making has been devolved to CCG level, we urge the Department of Health to do all it can to stop this backwards and irrational step, which is unprecedented in the history of the NHS... 

Download a pdf of the entire letter.

7 July 2014

Discussion on the BBC with lipreading tutor Molly Berry. Scroll down the page for subtitles http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0480343

28 July 2014

The Department of Health has published a response to the Stop the Cuts campaign. A posting on the UK Government website states: "Ministers note the campaign’s supporters’ concerns about North Staffordshire CCG’s proposal to decommission hearing aids for adults with mild or moderate age-related hearing loss."

Read the full response.

Deaf workers accused of 'new whiplash' claims in insurance fraud

Compensation claims for industrial deafness have risen by two thirds over the past two years, according to insurance and legal experts. Despite the increase, however, only one in 10 cases are being paid out amid claims of widespread fraud. 

An estimated 80,000 claims were made last year, compared with 55,000 in 2012, according to the Institute of Actuaries. With only 10 per cent successfully receiving payouts, Industrial Deafness cases have been dubbed "the new whiplash" by some insurers.

AXA insurance had more claims for industrial deafness than any other type of workplace injury or illness in 2012, at a cost of £26m. Aviva, one of Britain's largest insurance companies, is said to reject 85 per cent of new claims, stating that "the vast majority of these claims are fraudulent". But there is mounting concern the high number of alleged false claims may have a negative effect on those suffering from genuine hearing loss.

Sir Malcolm Bruce, MP and Vice Chair of the UK Parliamentary Group on Deafness, said: "There is certainly a danger for those affected by hearing loss to be swept up by the no-win no-fee promises from injury-based law firms, but it is important to stress that sufferers should seek help and advice from the NHS, who can provide the right support."

More from the Independent.

Will Brassington: People need to consider hearing aids

Will Brassington, head of audiology at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – and president of the British Academy of Audiology – says people need to change their views on hearing aids ...

'How many people do you know with hearing loss? Chances are it could be more than you think. I have recently been involved in writing a House of Lords' commission report on hearing loss which looked at the scale of hearing problems in the UK. The figures it uncovered are striking.

There are an estimated ten million people in the UK with hearing loss – 16 per cent of the population. But by 2031 this is expected to rise to 14 million, or 20per cent.

Of those living with hearing loss today, six million could benefit from a hearing aid, yet only two million have them.

Aside from all the frustrating conversations with your partner, awkward chats in the pub and missed opportunities at work, the long-term impact of hearing loss on physical and mental health is an issue we can no longer ignore.

There are evidenced links between hearing loss and dementia, so early identification and management of hearing loss is crucial. Despite this, we found that, on average, it takes people ten years to seek help from the point when they first notice a problem with their hearing.'

Read more from Will on this issue. Nottingham Post.

Legion urges hearing loss support

The Royal British Legion is urging the Government to do more to help veterans and service personnel with hearing problems after a report revealed that those under the age of 75 were three-and-a- half times more likely than the general population to report problems with their hearing.

In the wake of the report called Lost Voices, the legion has called for the Government to provide better support and recognition for members of the armed forces and veterans with hearing problems caused by military service.

The newly-published research found that veterans under the age of 75 were three-and-a-half times more likely than the general population to report problems with their hearing. 

The report, produced by the Legion in collaboration with the Ear Institute at University College London, Action on Hearing Loss and the British Tinnitus Association, looked into hearing loss and tinnitus - ringing or buzzing in the ears - and makes a number of recommendations for Government. 

More this story from the Belfast Telegraph.

Are you sensitive to sounds? Article and survey

While many people can tune out the sounds of daily life most of the time, others can have strong emotional and physical reactions to sounds.

This experience is known as sound sensitivity and can take several forms including conditions such as tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia, noise annoyance, and phonophobia.

If you are sensitive to sounds, a research project from the University of Melbourne, Australia would like you to participate in their online survey.

Thank you for reading the article and taking part in the survey.

Research exploring how choice is working in NHS adult hearing services

This research project examines the extent to which patients in England benefit from having a choice of NHS hearing loss services.

As part of this research project, Monitor is seeking views from patients, patient representative groups, General Practitioners (GPs), healthcare providers and commissioners on their experiences of adult hearing services.

The quickest and easiest way to share your views is to complete this online survey,

Many thanks.

Torchwood star John Barrowman says being deaf made him feel 'invisible'

TV star John Barrowman, best known for his role as Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood, agreed to go ‘deaf’ for the day as part of a filmed experiment so he could understand more the difficulties that deaf people face.

Gel moulds were inserted into his ears leaving him with a dramatic 60 per cent hearing loss. He then attempted to go about his daily routine, but found the experience significantly tougher than expected.

“I didn’t realise how challenging deafness would be. I was extremely anxious when walking down the street and crossing the road, as I couldn’t hear busy traffic or the sounds of footsteps walking behind me,” he said.

More on this story.

Commission on Hearing Loss: Final Report

There is an "urgent need" for hearing loss to be detected earlier as the number of people affected is set to soar, a new report suggests.

An estimated 10 million people suffer from hearing loss in the UK at present but by 2031 as many as 14.1 million people will struggle with hearing, according to a report from the think tank International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK).

The authors said that more must be done to detect problems earlier.

They also said that ministers must publish an action plan on how the Government plans to address hearing loss.

"Since the 1990s there has been a steady rise in the number of people with hearing loss and this is only set to get worse - if we look into the future, there will be more older people and unfortunately many of them will experience hearing loss," said Baroness Greengross, chief executive of the ILC-UK.

"If we consider that while loud rock music and festivals may have contributed to hearing loss among the baby-boomers, iPod and other such devices may well pose an even greater danger to the next generation."

The news comes as it emerged that one local health authority is considering whether or not to continue providing hearing aids for all patients on the NHS.

North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is running a consultation on whether or not to stop providing hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss.

More on this from Yahoo News.

Read the Commission on Hearing Loss: Final Report, published by the International Longevity Centre-UK.

New Funding Boosts Tinnitus Research

UK biotechnology company Autifony Thereputics has been awarded £2.2 million by the government’s innovation agency to develop a new tinnitus drug.

Autifony Therapeutics, a UK-based biotechnology company, has announced that it has been awarded funding of £2.2 million by the UK government’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), to support a Phase 2 clinical trial in tinnitus patients of its new lead compound AUT00063.

The clinical trial which is planned to start later in the year, will be carried out in the UK in collaboration with The University of Nottingham and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).


Call for action on hearing loss

There is an "urgent need" for hearing loss to be detected earlier as the number of people affected is set to soar, a new report suggests.

An estimated 10 million people suffer from hearing loss in the UK at present but by 2031 as many as 14.1 million people will struggle with hearing, according to a report from the think tank International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK).

The authors said that more must be done to detect problems earlier.

They also said that ministers must publish an action plan on how the Government plans to address hearing loss.

"Since the 1990s there has been a steady rise in the number of people with hearing loss and this is only set to get worse - if we look into the future, there will be more older people and unfortunately many of them will experience hearing loss," said Baroness Greengross, chief executive of the ILC-UK.

More on this story.

UK Health Professionals With Hearing Loss

... is a network of d/Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals who share information and support.

As their website develops, it will include more practical information about strategies and equipment to enable health professionals with hearing loss to work in healthcare and discussion of issues such as training and employment.

This will also be relevant for trainers, supervisors and employers, occupational health staff, audiologists, hearing therapists, ENT staff and other related professions.

Check out their website.

MED-EL sets new milestone in hearing implant technology

Medical devices company, MED-EL, has announced the launch of the SYNCHRONY cochlear implant device, a groundbreaking hearing implant system that harnesses advancements in magnetic research to allow patients to undergo routine MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans, without the need for multiple surgeries.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electrical device which provides the sensation of hearing to those who have a profound or severe hearing loss.

Currently over 10,000 people in the UK have a cochlear implant and until now, limitations in technology meant that users were required to have the magnet within their implant surgically removed, and then reinserted, prior to and after every high-resolution, 3.0 Tesla MRI scan.

Full story from Hospital Healthcare.com

Surrey Hard of Hearing Forum - wanted new members!

Become part of the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People Forum and make your voice heard on hearing loss and deafness issues:

  • Living with hearing loss courses
  • Lipreading classes
  • Social support groups
  • Advice on technology
  • Let's Loop Surrey

Contact Carol Pearson. Phone: 01483 456558. Text:  077809 33053. Email: info@surreycoalition.org.uk    Website: www.surreycoalition.org.uk

Lip Reading and Clear Speech Competition

The British Association of the Hard of Hearing, formed shortly after the end of the Second World War, created a network of regional Federations of existing local hard of hearing clubs so that members of these local clubs could meet together several times a year. One such meeting was the Lip Reading and Clear Speech Competition (LRCSC).

Winners in the regional competition would then compete in a National Event.

These Regional Competitions and the National Event continued through the remainder of the twentieth century until there were too few Federations left to justify a National Competition.

The North West Federation of Hard of Hearing Clubs is one of the few regional Federation still existing and one of the even fewer which hold an annual LRCSC.

A LRCSC consists of two separate competitions. In one competition two lip speakers, typically members of the Association of LipSpakers or established Lip Reading teachers, read two short (100 Words) texts to the candidates, with each line of text being repeated before the candidate writes down what they hear.

Trophies are presented for the best individual lip reader and to teams of two from each competing club.
In the other competition the candidate reads a preset text to the judges and then talks for perhaps two minutes on a simple topic (such as "my holiday"). Judges may be audiologists, teachers of the deaf or similar professionals. The profoundly deafened candidates are judged separately from the hard of hearing and Trophies are presented in each of these two categories.

More details coming soon.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival will be ensuring that all four of their venues will have infrared systems in place to improve the listening experience for those with hearing loss; neck loops and headphones will be made available to hearing aid users and others who want to hear as well as possible.

A hearing loop system was looked into (which allows sound to go directly into hearing aids without the need for a neck loop or head phones) but the organisers determined that the large amount of steelwork involved in the temporary venues would impact on the audio quality of the loop.

There will be no live text transcriptions so people can read what is said as it is said but there will be other written information available to browse and enjoy.

To find out more about access arrangements at this major literary event, see page 88 of the EILF brochure. www.edbookfest.co.uk

UK Deaf Sport

UK Deaf Sport are developing a number of Regional Networks to bring together Sports and the deaf community to enable more people who are deaf and hard of hearing to [play, coach and volunteer in sport.

If you would like to be involved in this ground breaking project please contact:

Clive Breedon, National Participation Officer, UK Deaf Sport, SportPark- Loughborough University, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3QF.

Tel: 0794 4467980

Vodaphone makes videos accessible for customers with hearing loss

Vodaphones You Tube help videos provide a source of advice and information on new phones and services.  Now Vodaphone is making them accessible for customers with hearing loss – by subtitling every new help video they make.

This is a first for a UK mobile operator and it means all customers can benefit from the Vodafone Tech Team’s useful tips and advice. Vodafone employee, Blaise Persaud, explains how and why these changes came about: “During my time in the Vodafone innovation team, I was encouraged to work on projects
that I’m interested in— to find any problems in the business and look at possible solutions.

As I am  profoundly deaf, I decided to look  into issues that affect me and other deaf people— I know how
frustrating it can be when you want to watch a video, only to find that it does not have subtitles.

There’s so much information available nowadays, and with the constant developments in technology, people are using more innovative ways to communicate with each other. These methods are great, but when you are part of the minority that can’t access them, it can be disheartening.

Vodafone is taking steps to include more people and hopefully this will inspire even more changes.”

Hearing in Noise Conference, Saturday 11 October, West Sussex

Bookings are now being taken for our joint autumn conference event that will be held in West Sussex in October.

Hearing Link is hosting this worthwhile event in partnership with fellow hearing loss charity Action for Deafness.   It is a good opportunity for people with hearing loss and their families, professionals, suppliers and service providers to share views, knowledge and information.

Titled ‘Hearing in Noise’, the conference will include interesting presentations from experts, as well as practical and informative workshops designed to increase understanding of why hearing in noise is difficult for hearing aid users. The conference will also look at ways in which this can be improved.

Tickets can be purchased via our website on http://www.actionfordeafness.org.uk/support/events/hearing-in-noise-conference/

or directly through eventbrite http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/action-for-deafness-hearing-link-joint-conference-hearing-in-noise-tickets-11720204447 

Any problems please email info@actionfordeafness.org.uk, or call 01444 415582.

Hearing Link survey: How can hearing loss be easier to manage?

You can help shape the services that Hearing Link offers and you can help us to understand more about what matters to you by completing our new survey.

The results will be powerful in influencing our thinking and our actions so please take some time to fill it in. Your views count.

We want to gather as much feedback as possible by the end of February 2014. Many thanks for your involvement.

Please complete the survey here.

InteRACT at the Royal Academy, London

InteRAct events for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing visitors will continue throughout the year involving a variety of talks and tours for main shows with lipspeaking support.

Either book your tickets here http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/events/talks/ or purchase them at the ticket desk as you arrive on the day.

Walks & talks for lipreaders in London

Programme of walks in 2014.

  • June 28 Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Museum, Stanmore, Middx
  • July 20th Brompton Cemetery
  • September 21st Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • November 23rd Passport to Pimlico & Tate Britain

Contact lynne.dubin@virgin.net for further information. 


Got a question?

If you’re looking for someone who understands or have a question that’s on your mind - just ask!

Contact our Helpdesk Responder team, who have personal experience of hearing loss and are ready to offer information and support to help you take your next step.

Contact our Helpdesk Responder team who have personal experience of hearing loss

Complete an online helpdesk form
Text us 07526 123255
Drop us an email helpdesk@hearinglink.org
Give us a call on 0300 111 1113

Sign up for the
Hearing Link e-newsletter

The Limping Chicken

UK news website - Opinion, Features, Secret Deafie, Deaf Dad

Hearing Times

Hearing Times are pleased to announce the launch of their new website, which will offer deaf and hard of hearing news, features and comment, updated daily. There are many features including local, national and international news, BSL video, and sections for arts, literature, health, education and product reviews.



Emergency SMS Service

Emergency SOS for people with hearing loss

This service allows deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people in the UK to send a SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue or coastguard. It costs nothing to register for this service. 

Here is the web link http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

News in Scotland 

Hearing Link Registered Charity Number 264809 Registered Charity Number in Scotland SC037688