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Hearing Aids

Volume 87: debated on Wednesday 27 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make available a moderate power body-worn hearing aid for use by patients who also have handling difficulties or arthritic fingers.

It is intended that the expected replacement for the OL56 moderate power body-worn hearing aid will be suitable for use by elderly patients with poor manual dexterity.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make available within the National Health Service the in-canal aids (ITCS) which are recommended by otologists and audiologists for some patients suffering from a hearing loss.

There is no intention at present to add canal aids to the standard National Health Service range of hearing aids but consultants may prescribe commercial aids, including canal aids, when in their opinion this is clinically necessary.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when his Department last placed an order for BE50 hearing aids; what was the total ordered; and when he expects the next delivery to be sent to ear, nose and throat departments of hospitals in England;

(2) if he will make a statement on the shortage in the National Health Service of BE50 hearing aids and the waiting list of patients for whom this aid has been prescribed.

The Department no longer collects this information centrally. Responsibility for supplying hearing aids in England and Wales was transferred to the Mersey regional health authority on 1 April 1985. I suggest the hon. Member contacts the chairman of the regional health authority for detailed information.