Hearing Impairment: Veterans

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the long-term provision of NHS audiology care for veterans with service induced hearing loss.

Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applicants to the Veterans Hearing Fund have been (a) successful and (b) rejected in each month since the programme began.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The latest Ministry of Defence annual population survey ‘UK armed forces veterans residing in Great Britain 2017’, published in 2019, states that 10% of working aged (16 to 64 years old) veterans reported issues with their hearing in comparison with 7% of civilians. When considering veterans over 64 years old this rises to 23% of veterans compared to 16% civilians. This does not differentiate between noise-induced hearing loss and age-induced hearing loss.

In England, veterans’ hearing services and the associated hearing aids are commissioned on a local level by clinical commissioning groups. Veterans with noise-induced hearing loss have also been able to seek additional hearing support from the Royal British Legion’s Veterans Hearing Aid Fund. The Fund was exclusively for items not supplied by statutory services. The Department does not hold details on the number of applications to the Fund.

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