Hearing aid priority for veterans

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6230152.stm

Looks like this was missed:

War veterans will be able to go to the front of the queue for digital hearing aids on the NHS, say ministers.

Half a million people are currently waiting for a hearing aid, with some having waited more than two years.

Around 100,000 ex-servicemen and women are thought to have hearing problems, but only one in 10 was previously prioritised for hearing aids.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing said war veterans deserved to have priority.

But the charity stressed that waiting times for digital hearing aids needed to improve for everyone.

In May a committee of MPs warned that NHS hearing aid services were unacceptable and appallingly patchy.

The problem began in 2000 when the government introduced the Modernising Hearing Aid Services programme to improve audiology services, mainly through the provision of digital aids.

This lead to a surge in demand as people switched over from the old analogue models.

Until now ex-servicemen and women were only prioritised if they met high government thresholds of hearing loss of 50 decibels in both ears, which meant they were eligible for pensions.

Otherwise they faced long waits - some more than two years.

But, in a statement to the House of Commons, veterans minister Stephen Twigg said: "Priority treatment applies to all disablements that have been found to be due to service, irrespective of whether they result in a pension."

Earlier this year it emerged that a 91-year-old World War II Spitfire fighter pilot had waited unsuccessfully for two years for a hearing aid at Ipswich hospital.

His deafness has been attributed to having flown in excess of 1,400 hours on war-time missions, sitting between two roaring piston engines without any proper ear protection.

He was eventually fitted with a free hearing aid by a local independent hearing aid dispenser.

RNID chief executive Dr John Low said the government needed to ensure that health authorities invest properly in hearing services, which had not been included in the 18-week wait target.

"After serving their country and paying with their hearing, being first in line is the very least they deserve, and fantastic news for Veterans Day."

"They have effectively sacrificed their hearing for their country," he said.

Alan Torbet, chief executive of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, welcomed the move to make war veterans a priority.

But he added: "The government's own figures show that about 80,000 people have already waited too long for an assessment, while our own survey shows that the average wait around England for a hearing aid fitting is 48 weeks."

War veterans need to present proof that their hearing loss had been caused by active service to their audiology clinic.
Not sure about the two engined Spitfire though.. :?
 
#2
you'd be suprised how sensitive our ears are to sound. apart from forgetting to put on ear defence when on the ranges and only hearing church bells for ages even limited exposure to i pods and loud music does lots of damage. think twice when you whack up the volume for you earphones!
 
#3
EX_STAB said:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6230152.stm

Looks like this was missed:

War veterans will be able to go to the front of the queue for digital hearing aids on the NHS, say ministers.

Half a million people are currently waiting for a hearing aid, with some having waited more than two years.

Around 100,000 ex-servicemen and women are thought to have hearing problems, but only one in 10 was previously prioritised for hearing aids.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing said war veterans deserved to have priority.

But the charity stressed that waiting times for digital hearing aids needed to improve for everyone.

In May a committee of MPs warned that NHS hearing aid services were unacceptable and appallingly patchy.

The problem began in 2000 when the government introduced the Modernising Hearing Aid Services programme to improve audiology services, mainly through the provision of digital aids.

This lead to a surge in demand as people switched over from the old analogue models.

Until now ex-servicemen and women were only prioritised if they met high government thresholds of hearing loss of 50 decibels in both ears, which meant they were eligible for pensions.

Otherwise they faced long waits - some more than two years.

But, in a statement to the House of Commons, veterans minister Stephen Twigg said: "Priority treatment applies to all disablements that have been found to be due to service, irrespective of whether they result in a pension."

Earlier this year it emerged that a 91-year-old World War II Spitfire fighter pilot had waited unsuccessfully for two years for a hearing aid at Ipswich hospital.

His deafness has been attributed to having flown in excess of 1,400 hours on war-time missions, sitting between two roaring piston engines without any proper ear protection.

He was eventually fitted with a free hearing aid by a local independent hearing aid dispenser.

RNID chief executive Dr John Low said the government needed to ensure that health authorities invest properly in hearing services, which had not been included in the 18-week wait target.

"After serving their country and paying with their hearing, being first in line is the very least they deserve, and fantastic news for Veterans Day."

"They have effectively sacrificed their hearing for their country," he said.

Alan Torbet, chief executive of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, welcomed the move to make war veterans a priority.

But he added: "The government's own figures show that about 80,000 people have already waited too long for an assessment, while our own survey shows that the average wait around England for a hearing aid fitting is 48 weeks."

War veterans need to present proof that their hearing loss had been caused by active service to their audiology clinic.
Not sure about the two engined Spitfire though.. :?
Do the BBC mean Derek Twigg?
 
#4
War veterans will be able to go to the front of the queue for digital hearing aids on the NHS, say ministers.
... they also say that war veterans are entitled to priority treatment for their war pensioned injuries according to National Health Service guidelines WHC(2003)65 - unfortunately this only applies to (outpatient and inpatient) treatment in hospitals (as long as there is no higher clinical priority at the time), however there is no onus on GP's to refer you (therefore you don't get treated).

I take it that this is going to be as much use ...
 
#5
Its just worked for me having waited a year and being told I must wait at least a further year. I applied to the Veterans Agency for a priority treatment letter. Within a week of sending it to the hospital I had a letter back for an appointment next month!
 
#6
Skynet said:
Its just worked for me having waited a year and being told I must wait at least a further year. I applied to the Veterans Agency for a priority treatment letter. Within a week of sending it to the hospital I had a letter back for an appointment next month!
Methinks you are lucky. which may well mean my postcode is wrong, but then my main problem is with pain and mobility.

It's probably cheaper to sort out a hearing aid (however hi-tech) than an operation to sort out weight bearing joints, which when left, impact on other parts of the skeletal structure.

My GP does not recognise any priority for war pensioned injuries. In this area, one cannot bypass the GP. If s/he refuses to give a referral, you receive no treatment (this includes follow up treatment for pensioned injuries).

BTW, I received my first letter from War Pensions (as it was at the time)
in 1992; VA have sent me the updated letter to no avail.

After a long telephone conversation with VA it was admitted that, according to NHS guidelines, war pensioners have priority, however VA has no actual power to ensure that these guidelines are implemented.
 
#7
Yes I agree from the postings on here it seems to be a hit and miss system. If we are going to have 30 years of war in AFG with other expeditionary operations on the cards we need to make sure that service personnel and veterans are properly looked after both in and after service. We need more factual information followed by a campaign to improve the lot of veterans which is enshrined in a legal framework.
 

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