Hearing Aids

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 1972.

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Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton 12:00 am, 24th May 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the studies at present going on for the supply of head-worn hearing aids.

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

I am keeping in close touch with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services whose Department is studying as expeditiously as possible all aspects of head-worn aids.

Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton

That is a rather unsatisfactory answer. Is it not disturbing that the proposal for an improved body-worn hearing aid has been abandoned after the expenditure of quite considerable sums over a long period? Does not this call into question the whole method by which we attempt to improve these aids under the National Health Service? Will not the Government approach this matter in a radical way? They spend a great deal of time and a considerable amount of money, producing at the end of the day negligible results.

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

I agree that it is most disappointing that the body-worn aid has turned out to be technically below the required standards. That is why my right hon. Friend has set up a committee to consider the matter as quickly as possible. There are further technical considerations, and it may take a while to provide something that we can accept. But I agree that it is disappointing that the OL 66 failed.

Photo of Dr Thomas Stuttaford Dr Thomas Stuttaford , Norwich South

Does my hon. Friend agree that sooner or later the National Health Service will have to change over to a discreet post-aural hearing aid, and that before we make the change-over sufficient supplies should be made available so that children on reaching 16 do not have their discreet set taken away when they are at the age of maximal self-consciousness?

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

I am sure that what my hon. Friend says is very true. These are points that will be given careful consideration by my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Ronald Murray Mr Ronald Murray , Edinburgh Leith

Will the Minister bear in mind that there is a degree of urgency in this matter, because some old people are being conned by door-to-door salesmen into buying dear appliances which are quite unsuitable?

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

I accept what the hon. and learned Gentleman says, because I know it will be true. I repeat that we are making a big effort to obtain the answer as quickly as possible.