Deaf children across England able to HEAR again thanks to new NHS op

These devices are inserted into the brain to help boost hearing.

It is estimated that 15 children a year will be assessed for ABIs and around nine will go on to have the surgery, which costs £60,000.

Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, told how ABIs can make “a huge difference” to lives.

She added: “This is another important step towards a society where no deaf child is left behind.”

Gemma Twitchen, from Action on Hearing Loss, also praised the fact the operation was being made available on the NHS.

She said: “While this will only affect a small group of children per year, it’s positive to see some forward-thinking, with services for deafness and hearing loss being implemented, as opposed to cut.”

The pioneering procedure will be offered at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Manchester neurosurgeon Scott Rutherford said the trust was “delighted” to have been chosen as one of only two centres in the UK to offer the implants.

“A commitment by NHS England to fund the service will secure its future and allow more families to benefit from our clinical expertise,” he added.

A number of children have already been given the procedure, which Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said was “truly life-changing”.

“This surgery, which allows youngsters to hear their parents’ voices for the first time, will now be available across England for children who are deaf and have no other options,” he said.

“As we put the NHS Long Term Plan into practice, the health service will continue to make the very latest innovative treatments – like this – available to patients, along with world-class care.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “I’m in awe of the extraordinary medical advances made possible by the brilliant specialists working in our NHS.

“This surgery has the power to transform the futures of children who are deaf and give fresh hope

to more families.

“Hearing transforms lives. I’m delighted at this progress – all part of our long-term plan which will secure the NHS for the future.”

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