To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children were receiving auditory verbal therapy in England as of 20 September 2022; if her Department will make an estimate of the number of deaf children in England who could potentially benefit from that therapy; if her Department will make an assessment of the (a) accessibility of auditory verbal therapy to deaf children through the NHS and (b) potential social return on further investment in that therapy in England; and whether her Department has plans to provide investment to train an additional 300 specialist therapists as recommended by Auditory Verbal UK.
Data regarding the number of children receiving auditory verbal therapy in England is not held centrally and there are no current plans to make a specific estimate of the number of children who could benefit. There are no plans to make an assessment of the accessibility of or the potential social return on further investment in auditory verbal therapy.
‘Commissioning Services for People with Hearing Loss: A Framework for Clinical Commissioning Groups’ was published in July 2016. This framework supported the former clinical commissioning groups and the newly established integrated care boards to make informed decisions on maximising value for local populations and provide consistent, high quality, integrated care. It also addresses inequalities in access and outcomes between hearing services.
There are no current plans to provide specific investment in training auditory verbal therapists. However, since September 2020, all eligible nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students have received a non-repayable training grant of a minimum of £5,000 per academic year. Additional funding is also available for studying certain courses, such as mental health and learning disabilities nursing, with further financial support available to students for childcare, dual accommodation costs and travel.