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Public Private Partnerships: Hearing Aids

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the public private partnership for the provision of digital hearing aids; and if she will make a statement. (140655)

Following a public tendering process, the National Framework Contract (NFC) Public Private Partnership (PPP) with David Ormerod Hearing Centres and Ultravox Holdings plc was announced in October 2003.

The contract allowed national health service trusts to use the two private hearing aid dispensers to see NHS patients.

It was fundamental to the NFC that the quality of service, and hearing aid, that the patient received mirror those of the local NHS audiology department. Quality assurance was key in the initiative. Both companies demonstrated their commitment to meeting these standards and invested resources in terms of equipment, information technology and staff training in order to do so.

The NFC PPP was successful in increasing capacity in the NHS, with over 50,000 patient journeys completed through the partnership. NHS trusts have also benefitted from the competitive pricing and quality of service provision available through the PPP.