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Hearing Aids

Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ensure that all persons issued with a behind-the-ear hearing aid are made aware of the use of the T adjustment in connection with the coil induction system of listening to television broadcasts.

Not all users of an aid can benefit from a loop system or will wish to avail themselves of it. Advice on the use of the "T" position is, therefore, a matter best left to the discretion of staff at hearing aid centres. As a matter of practice, information is contained in the leaflet issued with the aid and also in the revised version of my Department's booklet "General Guidance for Hearing Aid Users" given to patients newly fitted with a hearing aid. The social worker for the deaf and voluntary organisations will usually be able to offer further advice. As the booklet stresses, a loop system should be fitted to a radio or television set only by a qualified service engineer.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons have received hearing aids under National Health Service arrangements; and whether he is satisfied that the arrangements made are satisfactory.

Figures of total issues since 1948 are not available, but my hon. Friend may like to know that during 1976 approximately 92,000 hearing aids were issued to new patients in England. The issue of hearing aids is proceeding as fast as the resources of individual hearing aid centres allow.