The Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit has renewed a call for volunteers to take part in its COACH programme. The UK-wide trial aims to generate evidence about the use of hearing aids. 

Access to cochlear implants (CIs) in England and Wales was expanded for adults in 2019 with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance TA566. However, there remains concern that some adults who are ineligible under TA566 struggle with hearing aids (HAs). There is a lack of high-quality evidence to review TA566.  

COACH – an acronym for COmpAring Cochlear implants to Hearing aids for adults – randomly allocates eligible participants to the CI or HA groups and follows them for nine months. 

So far, 40 participants have been randomised out of a target of 130. The unit is pleased with progress but needs to recruit faster.  

It is calling for otologists and audiologists to promote COACH to patients who meet the criteria on its shaded audiogram graphic above. They can come from anywhere in the country, as all travel and subsistence expenses for participants is covered. Expressing an interest does not commit anyone to the trial. Trained researchers answer their questions and take informed consent. You can… 

  • Scan a QR code onto patients’ phones, help them complete an expression of interest form via the website during their appointment, or give them a leaflet. 
  • Display a shaded audiogram prompt sheet in every otology and audiology clinic room.  
  • Put COACH posters and leaflets out in your waiting areas 
  • Consider your trust becoming a patient identification centre. This includes compensation and an AuditBase report to help identify potential participants.  

For posters, leaflets, expression of interest forms, glossy card copies of our shaded audiogram prompts, post-it notes, notepads and other merchandise, please email 

Find out more.