NHS is not listening

A WESTON pensioner couldn't believe his ears when he was told he would have to wait 22 months for a hearing aid. Ken Lacey, aged 79, was told he needed to wait 16 months to have an aid fitted at Weston General Hospital. When his time was up bosses at the

A WESTON pensioner couldn't believe his ears when he was told he would have to wait 22 months for a hearing aid.Ken Lacey, aged 79, was told he needed to wait 16 months to have an aid fitted at Weston General Hospital.When his time was up bosses at the hospital said he had to wait another six months.The chairman of Weston's Senior Citizens' Forum is deaf in his right ear and needs the digital device to hear in his left.Ken said: "If you're deaf it's not only frustrating for you, but for the people trying to talk to you."I find myself answering the wrong questions at times and I need this aid."I bet by the time six months come around the hospital will have pushed the deadline back even further."The Weston & Somerset Mercury revealed in August how a study showed that residents were waiting longer than any other group in the west of England. Weston General Hospital came bottom of the list in a study of waiting times carried out by the British Society of Hearing Aids.The society found that residents wait 60 weeks from initial contact to having a device fitted. England's average is 37-40 weeks.The Department of Health announced it would release additional funding to reduce waiting times last month.A spokeswoman for the Weston Area Health NHS Trust said: "The Trust is currently verifying its waiting list data in order that sufficient extra capacity can be purchased for its outstanding patients."We apologise to those who have had to endure extraordinarily long waits, but this national initiative is expected to resolve the situation during the coming winter months.


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