Deafness and long term conditions

DCAL together with Action on Hearing loss have urged NHS England to substantially improve the quality of life experienced by people with dementia and hearing loss and save taxpayers £28 million each year by introducing a joined up approach to the assessment, diagnosis and management of both conditions.

In a new report entitled ‘Joining Up’, both organisations are calling for the National Dementia Strategy for England to be reviewed to ensure that funding is provided to meet the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss and also have dementia. This would ensure that there was appropriate assessment and timely diagnosis which would reduce the risk of exacerbating dementia symptoms and the need for expensive residential care.

The report identified that the taxpayer could save millions by making services responsive to the needs Deaf people as well as improving the lives of patients and their families.

“This report demonstrates why ensuring that Deaf people who have long term

conditions have access to services that are designed appropriately to meet

their needs makes clear financial sense. Relatively small investment in

services, such as using appropriate assessments delivered in sign language

can prevent significant costs that occur as a result of late diagnosis,

misdiagnosis or ineffective treatment plans.”

Professor Bencie Woll