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November 22, 2002

Major step taken in modernising hearing aid service

From: 10 Downing Street, UK
Nov. 22, 2002

A further 17 NHS Trusts will be trained and equipped to provide digital hearing aids to deaf and hard of hearing people. Nearly a third of all audiology departments in the country are now providing digital hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids make it easier to hear people speaking as they cut out background noise. This is because digital aids are able to vary the degree by which they amplify different frequencies.

Each Trust will receive the necessary equipment they need to programme and fit digital hearing aids. Staff will then be specially trained to use the equipment.

Health Minister Jacqui Smith said:

"We are maintaining our commitment and delivering on our promise to completely modernise and bring the hearing aid service people receive into the 21st Century.

"We have already invested more than £30 million in this project which is being enthusiastically welcomed by service users and hearing aid service providers alike."

The programme of modernisation began in 2000 when 20 sites were invited to take part in the project. A further 30 sites then joined the project in April 2002. The rest will begin to use their new equipment before March 2003.

© 2002 10 Downing Street Newsroom