BSHAA is surprised and disappointed that given the evidence reviewed the GP appointment as part of an audiology referral was not overhauled. This is even more in focus given the known pressures on primary care at GP level and the advent of direct access for audiology. There remains no evidence or risk to support that the GP adds any benefit to the patient care pathway. If they did, then surely their intervention would also be relevant where a patient chooses to pay for a hearing aid?
There were many other points where BSHAA sought to support the committee in the production of this document and we sincerely hope that has been listened to.
BSHAA recognises that this is a really useful piece of work and thanks the committee for its contribution. However, your society will not stand by and allow credible guidance to be produced that can in anyway impact negatively on patients and the way in which members practice, wherever they choose to work.
BSHAA’s position remains to support members who are registered, autonomous professionals and who will make the right clinical decisions on when and where patients should be referred when appropriate. 90% of patients will not need this and this guidance should be exploring innovation to make care more accessible rather than harking back to provider centred models of delivery.