MP meets health chiefs over hearing aid delays

June 27, 2006 12:22 PM
RNID logo

Mark is supporting the RNID

Many people in the Cheadle and wider Stockport area have to wait many months - and up to two years - for a hearing aid. That is why Cheadle MP Mark Hunter has pressed health bosses about the speed of treatment for local people.

There are over 4,000 people in the Stockport area who are waiting for a hearing aid or for an upgraded digital hearing aid. In other parts of Greater Manchester there are only a few dozen people waiting for this type of equipment.

Problems with staff recruitment, high demand and competing priorities are all to blame for the waiting times in the Stockport area.

Speaking after his meeting with staff at Stockport Primary Care Trust (PCT), Mark said, "Large numbers of local people have contacted me to raise their concerns about the length of time it is taking Stockport PCT to provide hearing aids to patients and, in particular, the time it takes to provide digital aids".

"I have met with senior staff at the PCT and they have outlined the steps they are taking to deal with the backlog. For example, they are buying in extra capacity from other PCTs as well as improving their overall administration and staffing associated with this issue".

"I hope these extra measures will see waiting times falling over the next few months. Unfortunately, our PCT isn't being helped by the fact that the government have now proposed to downgrade services for deaf and hard of hearing people so that there is no incentive to cut waiting times for these services become even longer. That is why I have joined the Royal National Institute for Deaf People's (RNID) campaign to give audiology services a higher profile within the NHS."

"Our area has some of the highest waiting lists for hearing aids in the country but after the government's reforms, it looks like the rest of the country are likely to suffer similar problems".

What would you like to do next?