PARENTS

Girl Born With One Ear Denied Hearing Aid Due To 'Postcode Lottery'

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Girl born with one ear denied hearing aid due to 'postcode lottery'

A girl born with one ear has been denied a hearing aid for her first day at school thanks to a 'postcode lottery' of healthcare.

Ellie Sanders, four, was born with a rare condition called hemifacial microsomia which affects the development of the lower half of the face.

It has left her with just one functioning ear, and she requires a hearing aid to allow her to hear her teachers and classmates on the first day of school in September.

Ellie's mum Kelly, 31, from Truro in Cornwall, applied for a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid implant which transmits sound directly through the skull, reaching the inner ear, but two NHS Trusts have failed to provide it.

Kelly says her daughter is the victim of a 'postcode lottery', with two NHS Trusts arguing over who pays for the aid, which costs £3,000.

"Other families in the same situation elsewhere in the UK have been offered a Baha. They don't have to go crawling around to other trusts," says Kelly.

"I don't know how long this process is going to take. It's just so unclear where we stand, whereas other people seem to have great support.

"Ellie struggles now in a nursery setting. We have become more concerned with her affected side and how she will cope with starting school in September, but they seem to be passing the buck."

Kelly first tried to get a Baha from the former Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust which later became NHS Kernow.

When she asked NHS Kernow for the device she was told she couldn't have one and was instead directed to NHS England, which has also failed her little girl.

A spokesman for NHS Kernow said: "This particular type of equipment is funded by NHS England. We have written to the consultant caring for Ellie to advise him of this.

NHS England refused to comment on individual cases, but said: "From April 1, 2013 there was a new national commissioning policy in place providing guidance on bone anchored hearing aids for hearing loss. This now ensures patients have the same access to treatment irrespective of where they live in the country."

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