Audiology

Changes to non-complex hearing services for people aged 55 and over in East Berkshire

The CCG has undertaken an ‘Any Qualified Provider (AQP)’ procurement process which means that when patients are referred (usually by their GP), they are able to choose from a list of qualified providers who meet NHS service quality requirements, prices and normal contractual obligations.

People can now choose to receive their care from any one of the following providers who have been awarded a contract by the CCG:

  • Spec Savers – Locations in Maidenhead, Slough, Bracknell, Wokingham
  • Sussex Health Care Audiology- Single location in Sandhurst
  • The Outside Clinic- A home based service
  • Scrivens- Single location in Maidenhead
  • In-Health – Location in Slough and Englefield Green, Egham
  • Hidden Hearing – Single location in Langley

You will see from the list above that we are now able to offer a service that we have not had previously i.e. an at home service provided by The Outside Clinic.

All provider applications were assessed through a robust clinical and user led process to ensure provision of a high quality service, which meets required national standards.

Berkshire Healthcare has since withdrawn from providing the non-complex AQP audiology services; however its hearing and balance service continues to provide specialist diagnostic and rehabilitation services for patients of all ages with complex hearing needs, such as tinnitus and balance problems, who do not meet AQP criteria or have complex needs.

We continue to work with them to ensure that all their existing AQP patients are safely transferred over to alternative providers as soon as is practically possible.

To aid smooth transition and ensure minimal impact on patients, we have agreed with Berkshire Healthcare to:

  • Communicate this change to all patients currently referred but may not have been seen for an assessment. These patients will be written to by Berkshire Healthcare to offer choice of alternative providers as listed above
  • Patients who have been assessed but not had a fitting will be seen by Berkshire Healthcare to complete a fitting and a follow up assessment before end March 2019
  • Patients who have completed their 3 yr pathway will be referred to their GP to access alternative providers to access their treatment

A list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ have also been put together which contains useful information for patients - Click here.

All of our listed providers have capacity and are taking referrals utilising the ERS system. We do not envisage any gaps in services.

If you would like to discuss any of the above, then please contact: Sangeeta Saran on sangeeta.saran@nhs.net or Angela Anderson- lambert on a.anderson-lambert@nhs.net

Anyone experiencing issues as part of the transfer process, or would like advice, can contact NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Click here.