This is important precedent. Once rationing is accepted and not fobbed off as prioritisation or restriction, then the press and media might start to get the message across. Rationing is inevitable, and its just a matter of whether it is overt or covert, and whether it is national or a post code lottery.. Politicians just won’t know where to go, or to put it..
North Staffordshire clinical commissioning group takes unprecedented step of refusing to give devices to mainly elderly patients with mild hearing loss – Denis Campbell reports in The Guardian 1st October 2015.
The NHS will start denying people with hearing problems access to hearing aids for the first time from Thursday in a controversial move that critics claim will worsen sufferers’ social isolation.
The GP-led NHS clinical commissioning group in North Staffordshire is taking the unprecedented step of ceasing to provide free hearing aids to mainly elderly people in its area with mild hearing loss.
It is also making it harder for those with moderate hearing loss to get access to hearing aids by introducing new eligibility criteria against which patients will be judged.
Campaigners and hearing experts have criticised the new policy as “ill thought-through, baffling and unprecedented”.
The CCG says the new restrictions are necessary to help it save money, and will save it about £200,000 in the first year. But the charity Action on Hearing Loss claims that hearing aids cost the NHS as little as £90 each.
The CCG estimates that its new policy will lead to about 500 people a year no longer getting a hearing aid to help mitigate the decline in their hearing capacity, which sufferers say damages their quality of life…..
…Meanwhile, North East Essex has become the second area of England to stop funding fertility treatment for women experiencing problems conceiving. It decided earlier this week to only now pay for IVF in occasional and medically complicated cases, such as for women who have been diagnosed with cancer. …..
Mid Essex CCG has already stopped paying for fertility treatment, and Basildon and Brentwood CCG is due to decide soon if it will follow suit.
“It is shameful that only the well-off in North East Essex and Mid Essex will be able to access fertility treatment. Fertility services should be available for everyone eligible for treatment; not just the rich,” said Sarah Norcross, co-chair of campaign group Fertility Fairness.
“This is a clear example of health inequality in practice. If you have the misfortune to have a fertility problem, then the only way is not Essex.”
The overt rationing news – just for a few days