Sir John Hayes MP at Tinnitus RoundtableIn February 2020, we published our Tinnitus Manifesto which calls for three steps the Government must take to give people with tinnitus hope for a cure, and an accompanying petition was signed by over 100,000 people. This work generated the first ever debate on tinnitus in the House of Lords and a commitment from the Health Secretary to look at funding for tinnitus research 

Political support

Then just one month later, the true effect of Covid-19 became clear and the UK went into its first lockdown. This changed our immediate priorities for a short period, but lobbying for increased funding in tinnitus research was never far from our minds. And, as soon as we could, we worked with Sir John Hayes MP – who has tinnitus himself – to keep this issue on the political agenda by engaging with Lord Bethell, the Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

DHSC roundtable

This work was instrumental in the DHSC convening their own roundtable event, in December 2020, to discuss issues relating to research on adult hearing loss and tinnitus. The event brought together a wide range of stakeholders and partners working in the sector, as well as people with direct experience of these conditions. 

Hearing loss and tinnitus working group

Following the roundtable, the DHSC has convened a new working group to identify hearing loss and tinnitus research priorities and develop an action plan to lead to better outcomes for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus. Key stakeholders in the working group include the BTA, the National Institute for Health Research and its Biomedical Research Centres and University College London, the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham, the Medical Research Council and RNID.

The group will co-produce plans and actions for the short, medium and long term, and agree how to work together to implement and communicate next steps. The group has just been established and produced the executive summary of the roundtable event as its first task. Work will be carried out over the remainder of this year (May 2021 onwards), and further papers/plans will be published when available.

Read the roundtable papers