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November 22, 2002

More to benefit from digital hearing aids

From:, U.K.
Nov. 22, 2002


By Health Newswire reporters

Ministers have announced that more NHS hospital trusts will be given training to provide digital hearing aids, as part of government modernisation plans.

A further 17 trusts are to be provided with equipment and training to fit the new digital hearing aids for adults or children, and in some cases both. The trusts are scattered across the country and range from Basildon and Thurrock General Hospitals NHS Trust in Essex to Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust in Lancashire.

The government says nearly a third of hospital audiology departments in England now offer digital hearing aids. The technology was initially introduced in 20 sites in August 2000 and a further 30 hospitals joined the project in April 2002.

The project is being managed jointly by the Department of Health and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). It is being evaluated by the Institute of Hearing Research.

Health Minister Jacqui Smith said more than £30 million had been invested in the project so far and that the government was delivering its promise to modernise hearing aid services.

She said, “This is another major step in the modernisation of the hearing aid service, showing how well we are working with health communities throughout the country.”

RNID Chief Executive John Low said, “The announcement that a further 17 sites are to be upgraded is excellent news for hundreds of thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. RNID has campaigned long and hard for the modernisation of NHS services and the introduction of digital hearing aids.

“We look forward to full rollout, across the NHS, so that all hearing aid users can benefit from a modern service and the latest technology.”

© HMG Worldwide 2002