Skip to main content

Hearing Aids: Waiting Lists

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on NHS performance against targets for supply of hearing aids, with particular reference to (a) the wait for a first instrument, (b) the wait for exchange from an analogue to a digital aid, (c) the wait from referral to hearing assessment and (d) differences in performance between primary care trusts and regions in meeting those targets. (159087)

We do not collect information on the length of time people are having to wait for a first instrument or for the wait for an exchange from an analogue to a digital aid.

The number of people having to wait for a hearing assessment has fallen significantly since the launch of the national audiology framework “Improving Access to Audiology Services in England”. A copy is available in the Library. Latest data for August 2007 shows that since March 2007 the number of people waiting over six weeks has fallen by 29,000 or 28 per cent.

As part of delivering 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment, there is a milestone for diagnostic tests, including audiology assessments, of a six-week maximum wait by March 2008. Information on the number of waits for audiology assessments by primary care trust has been placed in the Library.