RELATED CONGRESS – Nordic Advocacy Meeting
On 23rd January, fourteen representatives from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and the UK took part in the Nordic Advocacy Meeting in Copenhagen. The aim was to identify the primary specific cochlear implant challenges facing the Nordic countries and to consider how they might be overcome. Many common and familiar themes emerged, particularly around access to bilateral cochlear implants for adults, the long and variable intervals between processor renewals, peer support, referral pathways, waiting lists, funding and regional variations of care. The need for strong peer support groups, more qualified audiologists, and proper after care for life were expressed quite strongly in the meeting, suggesting that these issues are of growing importance to cochlear implant users.
The discussion was primarily guided and kept on track by Sue Archbold and Brian Lamb, while Lotta Vedholm (of Cochlear) shared interesting data so that we could compare the situation in each of our countries. We also shared the International Consensus Statement on Adult CI, and the parts of particular relevance to the Nordic countries, along with the use of the Spend2Save documents in our different languages. Brian Lamb offered us very helpful advice and insight for framing our arguments so that they are more readily grasped and remembered by decision makers.
The whole meeting was exceptionally well-planned and organised. Consequently, we accomplished a great deal in a very short space of time. On the basis of this, I strongly recommend associations to meet and compare situations with their neighbours.