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Digital Hearing Aids

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding has been made available for the introduction of digital hearing aids; and if she will make a statement on the progress of their introduction. (82193)

The modernising hearing aids service programme (MHAS) was managed by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID), on behalf of the Department from 2000 to 2005. Through this programme, the Government have invested £125 million to ensure that by 2005 all national health service hearing aid services could routinely fit modern digital hearing aids.

There have been other significant improvements:

working with the RNID we have ensured that high quality digital hearing aids are now available throughout the NHS with an estimated 750,000 people fitted with digital hearing aids by the NHS;

the current public private partnership is also proving very successful; by February 2006 approximately 68,600 patients had been fitted with a hearing aid; and

RNID and NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency working together have negotiated a reduction in the cost to the NHS of digital hearing aids.