In order to get a cochlear implant you or your child will need to be referred to an implant centre by your family doctor, ENT doctor or audiologist. If you have any problems obtaining a referral you may wish to contact your nearest cochlear implant centre for further advice.
The criteria for cochlear implants are set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Download the guidelines here. Or a shorter version here <link to understanding nice guidance pdf>.
Once a referral has taken place you will be asked to attend the cochlear implant centre in order for a number of assessments to take place. This will help to determine whether a cochlear implant is an option for you/your child.
The evaluation process can be stopped at any time if you, your child or the cochlear implant team feel that it is not appropriate to continue.
In the UK, if a cochlear implant is found to be a suitable option for you/your child then the implant team will request funding from the commissioners.
Some areas fund a limited number of implants every year. There may be other adults and/or children waiting for funding for a cochlear implant from your area. Your implant team should be able to advise you as to how long you are likely to have to wait for surgery.
Occasionally it is possible to self-fund or obtain funding for a cochlear implant from private health insurance. However not all health plans will automatically cover all the services needed. For further information contact your local cochlear implant team for advice.