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A Commission composed of health and hearing loss experts have warmly welcomed the latest report from Monitor.

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK and Chair of the Commission, said

“The findings of this report show that patients need to be at the heart of service delivery and planning and benefit from real choice from health care service providers in their area.

By 2031 there will be just over 14 million people in the UK with hearing loss and given the current state of play that only 2 million people use hearing aids out of a potential 6 million, we need to redouble our efforts to improve access and choice.

As a Commission, we sincerely hope NHS England, Monitor any future Government and Clinical Commissioning Groups continue to drive the innovation and service change that is so desperately needed – otherwise an increasing number of older people will be facing their twilight years in silence.”

A previous report published by the Commission last year highlighted the perils of ignoring the individual, economic and social cost of hearing loss. The report presented new data to show not only the predicted growth in the number of people with hearing loss, which is set to account for almost 20% of the total population by 2031 [1], but also highlighted a £25 billion loss to the UK economy in potential economic output [2].

Notes to Editors

  1. By 2031, it is expected that there will be 14.1 million people in the UK with hearing loss – accounting for nearly 20% of the total population.
  2. We calculate that in 2013, due to lower employment rates for those with hearing loss than across the rest of the population, the UK economy lost £24.8bn in potential economic output. Using the ILC-UK’s economic growth model, we project that, if nothing is done to address lower employment rates for those with hearing loss, in 2031 the UK economy will lose £38.6bn in potential economic output.
  3. The International Longevity Centre–UK – the leading think tank on ageing and longevity – set up an independent Commission. The ILC-UK provides the governance and secretariat while the Commissioners, drawn from a wide range of different sectors, will drive the agenda and findings.

The Commissioners include: Chair: Baroness Sally Greengross, Paul Breckell: Chief Executive, Action on Hearing Loss, Rosie Cooper MP: Member of Parliament for West Lancashire, Alison Walsh, President of the British Academy of Audiology, Peter Ormerod: Boots Hearingcare, Elspeth Howe: Baroness Howe of Idlicote, Lilian Greenwood MP

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