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February 7, 2003

Digital hearing aids free on NHS

From: ICNewcastle, UK - 07 Feb 2003

Feb 7 2003

By The Journal

Health Secretary Alan Milburn will announce £94m to provide free digital hearing aids to the deaf and hard of hearing when he visits the region later today.

Research has shown that digital hearing aids offer patients a 40pc improvement in hearing and quality of life.

They are different to old analogue devices as they can be adapted to suit the individual and adjusted to cope with different sound environments.

In April 2000, the Government began making digital hearing aids available on the NHS for the first time and from April this year a third of NHS audiology departments will be providing them.

Today Health Secretary Alan Milburn will announce investment to complete its programme to modernise hearing aid services.

It means by April 2005, digital aids will be available in every hearing aid service throughout England.

There are 1.8 million hearing aid users, including 18,000 children, who stand to benefit from the Government programme.

Mr Milburn said: "This is just the latest example of where investment, coupled to reform of how services are delivered, can bring real benefits for patients."

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2003