THE coronavirus pandemic has delayed a controversial decision that could affect some people hard of hearing. Staffordshire's six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are reviewing how they fund a range of services which include hearing aids. It could see Stoke-on-Trent align with Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Staffordshire Moorlands where people are only offered the free aids if they have 'moderate' or more serious hearing loss. The North Staffordshire CCG - which includes Biddulph, Leek and Cheadle - is thought to be the only area in the country to follow such hearing aid standards. Dr Lorna Clarkson, who is leading the investigation for the CCGs, said: "We had hoped to start the formal consultation in the autumn, but as a result [coronavirus] this will be postponed."