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NICE Issue Final Guidance on Cochlear Implant criteria

07 March 2019

The Alliance has today (7th March) welcomed the new guidelines on published by NICE on Cochlear Implants. The guidelines will expand the criteria that health professionals use when determining who is eligible for a cochlear implant within the NHS. This is great news for adults and children who have not been able to access this life changing technology. The Alliance looks forward to working with the NHS to ensure that the new guidelines are fully implemented.

The final guidelines state that;

For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing only sounds that are louder than 80 dB HL (pure-tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80 dB HL) at 2 or more frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz and 4,000 Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids. Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:

  • for adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the Arthur Boothroyd word test presented at 70 dBA
  • for children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability. [2009, amended 2018]

They can be accessed at

There is a resource impact report for commissioners at estimate that the total number of people treated will increase from around 1,260 people per annum in England to 2,790 by 2023/24.


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