NICE Quality Standards Meeting

Posted by 616 on December 10, 2018

NICE Quality Standards Meeting

December 10, 2018 at 11:34 AM

NICE Hearing Loss Quality Standards

BAA President, Sue Falkingham attended the Hearing Loss Adult Onset Quality Standards Prioritisation Meeting on 6th December in Manchester.

BAA had submitted comments and evidence to the topic engagement phase of this work previously. Sue was in attendance at the meeting as a public observer and this places certain criteria on the attendance.

People who come to watch a committee meeting are there only as public observers. As a public observer, they are able to listen to the business of the meeting, except when confidential information is being discussed. However, they will not be able to participate in the committee’s discussions. They can’t  ask questions, take part in voting or put their own views to the members of the committee.  During the body of the meeting this is very frustrating, as there were only 2 members of the 23 strong committee with any understanding of the topic at a professional level. It was good to observe 3 other members declare they used hearing technology.


The committee is tasked with looking at the NICE guidance published in June and deciding on a maximum of 5 statements of a quality standard that are specific, measurable and actionable.

They consider each area of the guidance where stakeholders have suggested quality statements could be made and look to develop a statement in draft form at this meeting.


Although the process is frustrating to just observe the final areas the team of non – specialists agreed on with support from the two technical committee members are good and I would support their statements. In a very draft format at the moment they are:

 1) That any adult presenting in a community setting for the first time with self report or suspected hearing loss should be referred to NHS funded Hearing Care services for assessment. (Increase in G.P. Referral rates should show this).

2) A Standard should be written around the sudden and rapid onset referral criteria in the guidance to ensure this happens and referral pathways are followed.

3) There must be an NHS funded ear wax removal service in Primary Care

4) Offer two hearing devices to all with no restrictions on level of loss

5) Ensure face to face follow ups are offered as indicated by personalised care plans for all those fitted.

These now go back to the NICE staff for appropriate wording and a review of any resource implications. They are then reviewed again by this committee in private before being published ne t summer.

It’s a long process but hopefully ensures guidance is implemented and improves services for our patients at a national level.