BIHIMA Q3 data shows further turbulence in the NHS market ahead of Brexit whilst the private market continues to grow

The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) has released their Q3 2019 results of its members, revealing a mixed picture of instability in the NHS market and ongoing growth in the private sector.

The key finding is that NHS Q3 unit sales were 12.9% up on Q3 2018 (and 14% year to date). This increase follows a similar pattern to the start of the year when, in Q1, sales shot up largely as a result of stock orders from the NHS in preparation for a hard Brexit, only to decrease sharply again in Q2. The rise again in Q3 of this year is due to further stockpiling of hearing aids as the political situation remains unpredictable.

Private unit sales, whilst not as strong as previous quarters this year, were up 2.5% on the same period last year, and up 5.9% year to date.

The results from Ireland demonstrate a similar pattern to the UK private market, with Q3 up 2.6% on Q3 in 2018, and Q3 2019 YTD up 5.8% on the same period in 2018.

BIHIMA also tracks the trends in the styles of technology being selected by patients in the private sector. The Q3 results show the continued popularity of RITE/RIC style and now represents 76.7% of all sales, a growth of 7.3 percentage points over 1 year.

“These are strong results in uncertain times. No matter the level of turmoil in the political landscape, there will always be a need for our members’ products. We are committed to ensuring the supply chain remains open so that hearing-impaired people have access to the technology that makes such a difference for their quality of life,” said the BIHIMA chairman, Paul Surridge.

In its role as the voice for the hearing technology industry, BIHIMA regularly monitors the market and releases the results of its members every quarter. To keep up to date with the latest market information, download the results here.