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Hearing Aids: Waiting Lists

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting times for digital hearing aid (a) assessment and (b) fitting are in London, broken down by primary care trust. (123588)

The following table shows data on the waiting times for audiology assessments as at end of December 2006. The Department does not collect data on fitting of aids.

Organisation name

Total waiting

Median waiting time (weeks)

Havering PCT

3,149

42.3

Kingston PCT

465

19.1

Bromley PCT

171

4.9

Greenwich PCT

676

33.0

Barnet PCT

164

7.8

Hillingdon PCT

127

5.1

Enfield PCT

22

7.7

Barking and Dagenham PCT

1,463

27.1

City and Hackney PCT

93

7.7

Tower Hamlets PCT

59

13.0

Newham PCT

143

5.8

Haringey PCT

79

7.3

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

101

16.7

Ealing PCT

465

22.7

Hounslow PCT

19

16.9

Brent PCT

50

7.7

Harrow PCT

21

12.0

Camden PCT

75

6.7

Islington PCT

44

7.2

Croydon PCT

1,329

25.9

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

101

16.2

Westminster PCT

140

14.5

Lambeth PCT

650

25.1

Southwark PCT

567

29.9

Lewisham PCT

241

13.0

Wandsworth PCT

405

8.7

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

96

14.5

Sutton and Merton PCT

2,246

48.2

Redbridge PCT

204

8.3

Waltham Forest PCT

139

6.2

Bexley Care Trust

324

14.1

Source:

Department, DM01

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what target her Department has set for the length of time a patient should wait for a digital hearing aid to be fitted. (124648)

The national audiology framework “Improving Access to Audiology Services” in England, was published on 6 March 2007 and is available in the Library. It sets out clear guidance to the national health service on how to reduce waiting times and how to provide the additional 300,000 pathways that are needed in the run-up to December 2008 to make a maximum wait of 18 weeks from referral to treatment possible for all audiology referrals. It aims to mitigate the risk to 18-week delivery and create a sustainable service model for audiology for the long term.

The most complex audiology cases will be covered by the target of treatment within 18 weeks of referral by December 2008. And the remaining routine adult hearing loss cases should be assessed within six weeks by March 2008, in line with the diagnostic waiting time milestone on which local commissioning plans are based. It is also good practice for the subsequent hearing aid fitting to be carried out soon after or at the same time as assessment.