COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: RNID lobbying gets response over NHS digital hearing aids

The RNID came a step closer to its target of ensuring that all deaf people get free digital hearing aids last week.

Health minister Jacqui Smith gave details of the 30 NHS trusts that will get the money, in response to a written question in Parliament. A further 15 NHS trusts will also be able to apply for government money to help train staff to fit the hearing aids.

The Government investment of £20 million means that almost one-third of people in England will have access to modernised hearing-aid services by the end of the year, says the charity. Twenty NHS trusts already fit the new devices under a pilot scheme launched by the Government at the end of 2000.

The charity wanted to ensure that the pilot "first wave

project would be rolled out nationally, so it began an intense parliamentary campaign last autumn to put pressure on the Government, said a RNID spokeswoman.

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