AN MP has given his support to a charity fighting to improve audiology services across the country.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury has met with national charity Action on Hearing Loss, who warn vital hearing aid services across England could be at risk.

They say new research shows an "overwhelming majority" of Clinical Commissioning Groups - the local bodies responsible for commissioning and paying for NHS services - do not have the “bare minimum” information needed to be effective.

The research also highlights large disparities in hearing aid provision across England.

The report "Valuing Audiology: NHS Hearing Aid Services in England" was compiled using data from Freedom of Information requests the charity sent to all 195 CCGs in England.

Of those who responded in full, just one-in-20 (5%) knew how much they are spending on audiology, how many hearing aids they are fitting, and whether patients are satisfied with what they are receiving.

Mr Amesbury said: “It was really concerning to hear what Action on Hearing Loss had to say about services in Weaver Vale and across England.

"With nine million people across England living with some form of deafness and hearing loss, a number we know is rising with the ageing population, demand for these vital services will continue to rise.

"Now more than ever it’s essential that audiology services are able to evolve and understand their local population’s needs to continue providing high quality services.”

Dr. Roger Wicks, director of policy and campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “It’s encouraging to see Mike Amesbury engaging with us and this vital report.

" If the problems aren’t addressed, there’s a very real fear that hearing aid services will suffer and decline in availability.

"Hearing aids are a lifeline for people living with deafness and hearing loss and must be readily available and free to all that would benefit from them.”

The charity’s report lists recommendations for CCGs including at minimum spend on collecting accurate data on audiology, access rates, number of hearing aid fittings, waiting times It also calls on NHS England to rule that this data should be consistently collected and centrally published.

For more information on the report click here