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February 11, 2003

Deaf to get hi-tech aids

From: This is Bolton, UK - 11 Feb 2003

DEAF people are to benefit from a £200,000 Government cash boost to provide digital hearing aids.

The Audiology department at the Royal Bolton Hospital will use the money to modernise its service and finance the digital hearing aids to the deaf or hard of hearing.

The cash windfall is part of a nationwide £94m funding programme from the government, which aims to modernise hearing aid services throughout Britain. Tens of thousands of people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be entitled to the very latest in digital hearing aids free of charge on the NHS, in plans announced by the Health Minister Alan Milburn.

Health chiefs have welcomed the £200,000 Bolton is to receive.

Angela Mack, Senior Chief Audiologist of the Royal Bolton Hospital, said: "Digital hearing aids give a better quality sound and a more accurate fitting. For many patients they are an improvement on the traditional analogue aids.

"This is an exciting development of the services provided by Bolton and I wish to take this opportunity to thank our patients for their patience and understanding through this considerable period of change."

She said that the new digital hearing aids will fit behind the ear, and it is hoped new patients will start receiving digital aids from April.

The health chief revealed that their had been a large number of hearing aid users who had already requested an appointment for a digital hearing aid assessment -- and it would take time to see all the patients.

o Anyone who wishes to add their details to the waiting list is asked to contact the Audiology department on Bolton 390434.

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