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UK - Political views on hearing loss and deafness
Natural HearingJun 08, 2010 12:30 BST
With the recent political hype in Britain over and the introduction of the first coalition government since 1954, there are a lot of important issues that need attention. Recent discussions with other hearing professionals have led me to believe deafness and hearing loss do not appear to be among them.
You may not have considered who you voted for when choosing a party based on your hearing loss but we were wondering what the parties views were before the conservative/liberal government took charge at number 10.
While their manifestos talk about equal rights and disability, there was very little in the case of issues relating to deafness or people hard of hearing. From the very little information provided it was clear the political parties were riding on past achievements dealing with these issues. Although some pledges are made for the future things should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The conservative party has promised to increase spending in the NHS whilst prioritising, providing first line services with the technology and equipment they need. They also claim to make spending more accountable, thus helping departments like audiology provide hearing aids more quickly.
The liberal democrats talked a lot about disability as a whole and how they would encompass that into their plan. One important issue they also noted was that teachers would have better training in helping to identify children with special needs.
As labour had been in power for thirteen years their approach was to talk about past success and use facts and figures. Some achievements were excellent and they should be commended. With my personal experience with regards to the NHS and waiting times especially for hearing aids I was highly disappointed. The amount of patients we see who have a poor experience with the NHS is really appalling, in some cases a 10 week wait others 6. It’s just not on.
I just hope that this improves for those who decide not to go private.
There are other issues like Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance but I won’t go into those.
To think that there are approximately 9 million people in the UK suffering from a hearing loss, you would think that the parties would provide more specific information about what they would do if elected for the deaf and hard of hearing. I personally believe it is not acceptable and we deserve better.
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