UK Rehabilitation Pathway


In the United Kingdom, an individual who has some concern about their hearing ability will usually first express this concern to their General Practitioner (GP). The GP will then refer the patient to a National Health Service (NHS) audiology department for diagnostic testing. Alternatively, if the individual wishes to bypass the NHS, they may contact a private audiology clinic directly to arrange a hearing assessment.

In either case, if these tests indicate a significant hearing loss the patient is usually asked to return to the audiology department in a specified period of time to be fitted with a hearing device. Once the device has been fitted, the patient is given a period of time in which to trial the device at home, before returning to the audiology department for a re-assessment. Depending on the result of this re-assessment, the patient may then either be discharged, have their current aid adjusted, or be fitted with an entirely new device. This decision then determines whether the patient must re-enter the pathway at the “trial-period” stage, or whether they are temporarily discharged.

The UK rehabilitation pathway is illustrated in the figure below. (Click onto it to open an enlarged version in a new window)



Read on: Model procedures of the UK pathway or rehabilitation pathway in the Netherlands or Germany.