NHS Hearing Aid framework agreement renewed

New products, technology and savings available to NHS trusts

NHS Supply Chain has renewed its Hearing Aid and Accessories framework agreement that launched in August offering trusts high-quality products at even better value.

The range of products and the number of suppliers has been extended, offering trusts greater choice and significant savings opportunities on a number of product lines.

The specification and process for the renewal tender were developed with input from the British Academy of Audiology (BAA).

Will Brassington, president of the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and part of the Audiology Advisory Group, said of the renewal: “NHS Supply Chain was keen to ensure wide involvement in the process to get the specification right, so we can continue to have high-quality hearing aids at a low cost and to gain the benefits of innovation for our patients. A key part of this was the Audiology Supplies Group (ASG), now hosted by the BAA, which evaluated all of the technology tendered.”

This huge undertaking, which took over 18 months of planning, resulted in a strong portfolio of technology being available at the best global price, ensuring the best options for the hearing-impaired community

As experienced and trained audiologists, the ASG independently reviewed, tested and approved all the products available on the framework. The group has a real understanding of the clinical issues as well as the innovative products on the market. Suppliers were also invited to present and answer comprehensive questions about their products.

“This huge undertaking, which took over 18 months of planning, resulted in a strong portfolio of technology being available at the best global price, ensuring the best options for the hearing-impaired community,” said Dawn Bramham, chairman of the ASG.

“The two-way relationship which we have fostered with suppliers has placed the needs of the NHS Audiology profession and the hearing aid user at the forefront of everything we do, and will continue to benefit the framework.”

Tom Mason, trading manager for NHS Supply Chain, added: “Once again the clinical evaluation we had from the ASG, which included vigilant testing of each hearing aid family and actual fit to patient trials, and the enhanced range will provide our customers with products they can trust.”

“In addition, as a result of our investment and ongoing efforts to secure savings and support the £150m savings challenge set by the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, earlier this year we lowered the catalogue price of hearing aids products, resulting in a £1.69m national saving, which equates to an average trust saving of 2.8%, equivalent to 69 audiology healthcare science practitioners.”

There are now approximately 3,600 product lines and eight suppliers on the framework. The suppliers are GN Resound, Oticon, PC Werth, Phonak, Puretone, Siemens and Starkey, as well as new supplier, Widex.

Other audiology frameworks available through NHS Supply Chain include Audiological Implantable Devices, Newborn Hearing Screening, Hearing Aid Batteries and a Patient Audiometry Assessment Devices and Support Products framework.

Companies