Cost savings to Health and Social Services by work of Cambridgeshire Hearing Loss charity “are priceless” – new report. 

The volunteer service supporting people with hearing loss in Cambridgeshire benefits the community to the value of £1million per year, even though its combined Health and Social Services grants are less than £100,000, according to a new report published on Wednesday 11 March.

Massive cost savings to the NHS and to social services locally, are shown to come from preventing people having to be admitted in to hospital or residential care, thanks to the work of the local charity, Cambridgeshire Hearing Help.

The findings are based on a new methodology for calculating the charity’s ‘social return on investment’ published alongside the report, produced by independent health economists at Cambridge-based company Costello Medical.

The concept of putting a monetary value to the social impact of charitable work has been developed over the past twenty years. The new framework has been developed from a full analysis of existing models, applied research on the work of Cambridgeshire Hearing Help itself, together with official data from the NHS and Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).

Cambridgeshire Hearing Help provides more than 40 hearing aid maintenance clinics at local venues throughout the county, awareness-raising, training and social groups for local people to manage the loss of their hearing.

The key findings of the report are:-

* the charity achieves a social return on investment of £6.15 for every £1 of grants and other fundraising which it receives.

* more than 100 volunteers in the charity donate over 7,336 hours of time per year, valued at £66,024.

* Savings to Cambridgeshire County Council from increased independence, improved mental health outcomes and dementia avoidance are at least £285,330 per year, compared to an annual grant to the charity of £50,000.

* Savings to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) through hearing aid maintenance, improved physical health and improved mental health are at least £575,953 per year, compared to an annual grant to the charity of £36,000.

* Put together, the total value of Cambridgeshire Hearing Help’s services equates to £1,022,549, for an organisation whose total fundraising from private and public sources is less than £200,000.

Cambridgeshire Hearing Help Chair, Roger Hill commented:

“Throughout more than 40 years of the charity’s existence, we’ve known that helping people manage hearing loss promotes their independence, well-being, health and participation in the community.

“What this new report does is to provide a robust and independent analysis, which proves that our work represents a very real cost saving by preventing and delaying the need for health and social care.

“With effective use of hearing aids and other measures, we know it is perfectly possible for people with different degrees of hearing loss to live full and satisfying lives. This report reveals the economic value of how our work achieves this for the first time, thereby underlining how volunteer efforts are truly priceless.”

Lucy Eddowes, Division Head, Costello Medical, added:

“Having now worked closely with Cambridgeshire Hearing Help and seen the benefits that they bring to our local community, we are delighted to have supported a charity doing such meaningful work to support people with hearing loss. We hope they can keep providing this help long into the future.”

If you would like to find out more, to donate or volunteer to support Cambridgeshire Hearing Help, please ring 01223 416141, email: [email protected] or contact their office at 153 St Neots Road, Hardwick.