Save Our Services: Trust beats target for hearing aids

AS PATIENTS nationally are forced to wait up to five years for an NHS hearing aid, the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is close to hitting the government target of 18 weeks. A survey of more than 100 NHS trusts nationwide has revealed that the aver

AS PATIENTS nationally are forced to wait up to five years for an NHS hearing aid, the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is close to hitting the government target of 18 weeks.

A survey of more than 100 NHS trusts nationwide has revealed that the average waiting time for the first fitting of a hearing aid has increased from 35 weeks in 2004 to 41 weeks currently.

The average waiting time for deaf people who already have hearing aids to be re-assessed has rocketed from 45 weeks to 64 weeks.

But the East and North Hertfordshire Trust has reported a significant improvement in waiting times.


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In 2004/05, the average waiting time between assessment and the fitting of a hearing aid for existing patients was 39 weeks. By 2005/06, this had reduced to 26 weeks.

In 2004/05, the average waiting time for a new patient to be fitted with a hearing aid was 43 weeks. By 2005/06, this had dropped to 22 weeks.

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A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire Trust said: "Given the figures talked about nationally, some of which gave examples of patients waiting up to five years for a digital hearing aid to be fitted, this shows that the Trust's audiology service is performing well.

"As is always the case, however, more always needs to be done to support patients wishing to use this vital service.

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