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Digital hearing aids are the future: Dr Who told Meg Munn MP

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Dr Who told Meg Munn MP at the Labour Party Conference that he was surprised to find large numbers of analogue hearing aids in the NHS when his time gauge showed 2002!

RNID’s innovative exhibition stand was based on the theme of the Timelord Dr Who. Its key message was that analogue hearing aids based on 1970s technology are still common in the NHS of 2002. Around a third of NHS audiology departments in England will receive Government funding to modernise their services and routinely issue advanced technology digital hearing aids by March 2003. In contrast, analogue hearing aids are still all that is available to patients in the remaining two-thirds of the country.

Evidence from the first NHS Trusts fitting digital hearing aids showed that they delivered a 41% increase in patient benefit over analogue, and that people were wearing their hearing aids for longer.

James Strachan, RNID Chief Executive said: "Advanced digital hearing aids now only cost the NHS £75. We have also proven that NHS audiology services are capable of providing a very effective, modern service. To revolutionise a life, the total cost is less than one night’s stay in hospital. This is exactly what NHS modernisation and value for taxpayers’ money is all about."

Meg Munn MP long time campaigner for digital hearing aids gave her support to RNID’s campaign, pledging to persuade Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to demonstrate a commitment to modernising its hearing aid services by allocating the resources necessary to access central funding. She is also asking the Trust to adopt RNID’s Best Practice Standards for Adult Audiology.

Meg Munn MP said: "From my post bag I know just how strongly many of my constituents feel about this issue. Here in Sheffield we have made digital hearing aids available for our children, but there is still a huge demand from adults that is not yet being met. For a minimal extra cost, thousands of people in Sheffield could enjoy a significantly improved quality of life by having well fitted digital hearing aids. It is vital that modernised services are available to all hearing aid users as soon as possible.

Photograph - Meg Munn MP and Dr Who (with a hearing aid)


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