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NHS Hearing Aid framework agreement renewed: new products, technology and savings

Thursday 11 September 2014

NHS Supply Chain’s renewed Hearing Aid and Accessories framework agreement that launched in August offers trusts high quality products and 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.”

As highly 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,“ explains Dawn Bramham, Chair 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 on-going 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%  - this could equate to 69 Audiology Healthcare Science Practitioners.”

“With approximately 3,600 product lines and eight suppliers on contract, we offer an extensive range of Hearing Aid products combining quality, choice and value,” said Tom Mason.

There are eight suppliers on the new agreement including existing providers, 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.

For more information on the Hearing Aid framework agreement renewal please contact your dedicated Account Manager at

For full contract information, see our contract launch brief.

1. For the full break-down speak to your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager.
2. At AfC Band 5. Source: RCN website, 12 May 2014. Pay Rates April 2014.
3. Source: Action on Hearing Loss


Media enquiries:

Jennie Brice-Boutard
07714 043 391

Joanna Morrison
07776 457 201

Notes to editors

Did you know?
There are more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, or one in six of the population. At least four million people who don't have hearing aids would benefit from using them. Due to the ageing population, it is estimated that there will be 14.5 million people with hearing loss in the UK by 2031. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 adult onset hearing loss will be in the top ten disease burdens in the UK, above diabetes and cataracts. 

About NHS Supply Chain
Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 346,000 nationally available, transactable lines ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1* per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • Theatres
  • Dental
  • Audiology
  • Catering, including food
  • Infection control
  • Orthopaedics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in ten locations.


Delivering value to the NHS