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.
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.
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?
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.