HC Deb 23 July 1991 vol 195 c505W
Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people currently have a NHS hearing aid; what was the total issued in each of the past five years; and what assessment has been made of the numbers currently being provided and that will be required in future years for(a) children, (b) people of working age, (c) the younger elderly and (d) the very old.

Mr. Dorrell

Information about the numbers of peopple who have a NHS hearing aid is not available centrally. Mersey regional health authority acts as the centre of respnsibility for the procurement and distribution of hearing aids to the NHS. The total number of hearing aids supplied by Mersey RHA to NHS hearing aid centres in the most recent five-year period for which figures are available is shown in the table. Mersey RHA plan future requirements on the basis of established usage and demand identified by hearing aid centres.

Hearing aids supplied
Year Number
1989–90 626,065
1988–89 628,470
1987–88 694,731
1986–87 640,949
1985–86 595,676

Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies there have been of the use made of hearing aids; what are the main problems that deter people from using them; and what proportion of NHS aids are estimated to be unused.

Mr. Dorrell

The most recent information about the use made of hearing aids is contained in the reports of the surveys of disability in Great Britain, carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys between 1985 and 1988. Copies are available in the Library. Information is not held centrally about the problems which deter people from using hearing aids or the number of NHS hearing aids which are unused.

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