Gransnet forums


NHS/hearing aids

(22 Posts)
janipans Sun 18-Nov-18 17:58:27

A NHS hearing test revealed that I could do with a hearing aid and when the audiologist showed me the aids available I asked about the ones that actually sit inside the ear.

She told me that the NHS cannot provide those and that I would need to find a commercial provider. I said I would be quite willing to pay the going rate but would rather pay the NHS so they get any profits. How ridiculous is that? No wonder they are in financial difficulties when they do all the legwork then are unable to provide and charge for more costly devices which people obviously are willing to pay for.

gillybob Sun 18-Nov-18 18:00:06

I totally agree with you janipans but knowing the way the NHS procurement work they would end up paying 10 x the going rate .

NfkDumpling Sun 18-Nov-18 18:18:40

I’ve got basic NHS ones which sit behind the ear and they’re apparently £2000 a pair, but free for me - and I’m quite happy with them.

You are entitled and have paid for the tests in taxes and it’s up to you if you want to take advantage of basic NHS ones or have something different. A lady I know paid £5000 to go privately and ended up with aids which look the same as mine only very slightly smaller. When I lost one it only cost me £70 (including VAT) to replace it. For that I’m prepared to suffer the indignity of having external aids!

I understand it’s the same with specs.. It’s up to you if you have NHS frames or pay extra to the optician for designer ones. Surely the NHS is non-profit making? It wouldn’t sit well if they decided to charge more than cost for aids.

grannysyb Sun 18-Nov-18 20:36:30

I have an NHS aid which sits behind the ear, my best friend paid for for hers which is only slightly smaller than mine. She now has to pay for her batteries whereas I get mine free. Also hers seem to run out quite quickly, have to say I'm very happy with my hearing aid.

Deedaa Sun 18-Nov-18 21:43:00

It sounds as if I've got the same ones as you NikDumpling and I'm perfectly happy with them. I recently lost one and had to pay the £70 for a replacement, but it was very quick to sort out. DH was referred to an audiologist by our GP and waited months for an appointment. I can be seen in Specsavers in a couple of days.

Luckygirl Sun 18-Nov-18 22:34:41

I have normal NHS over-the-ear aids and most people do not even notice I am wearing them. When I take one out to put a new battery in they look amazed - oh I didn't know you wear hearing aids!

Grandma2213 Mon 19-Nov-18 02:07:04

When I first went for a hearing test I was told by GP I could go anywhere for a free test so I went to Boots. After very thorough testing I was given some in the ear aids and allowed to walk around the shopping centre to try them out. (Musac was horrendous and too many loud people on mobile phones. Not only that but I could hear my waterproof as I walked!) Anyway I then discovered that Boots were not NHS and they cost about £900 each so no way. I could not have afforded to pay for even the behind ear ones! I went back to the GP as I definitely had some hearing loss. I was then referred to Specsavers ... same results but behind the ear aids plus free batteries on the NHS. I am, however very naughty and hardly wear them as my DGC are too loud and I can hear the annoying background music on the telly, the fridge, oven humming etc and it drives me crazy! I have used them for school performances, concerts etc but they pick up all the coughing, sniffing and shuffling which over rides the improved hearing of the main event. I did try for several weeks to get used to it but couldn't, and they made my ears itch.

travelsafar Mon 19-Nov-18 07:31:48

I too have NHS hearing aids one in each ear. They certainly pick up all the background noises and can be quite distracting at first. Now i find i only wear them if i am going somewhere that i really need to be able to hear properly, like the GP or a meeting etc. They are the first thing i take out when i get home though and i love that i have the choice of retreating to my muffled world and the peace and quite.

NannyJan53 Mon 19-Nov-18 08:08:35

I too wear NHS hearing aids in both ears for the last 16 years. I Could not manage without them.

When I first needed them I bought private as I could not wait on the NHS waiting list. When I eventually had NHS ones I found I could hear much better than the private ones, so never used them again!

The batteries are free too!

Travelsfar I have a button on my aids which when pressed reduces the sound of the background noise. Invaluable when eating out in pubs etc when I need to have conversations.

hallgreenmiss Mon 19-Nov-18 16:11:53

NfkDumpling Not everyone qualifies for NHS frame vouchers.

Abuelamia Mon 19-Nov-18 21:46:57

Just wanted to add, that my hearing aids are NHS and I wouldn’t be without them. Yes, you can hear background noises in the beginning, but do persevere and in time your brain will automatically filter out the unwanted noise. In fact I only take mine out to sleep.

Teetime Tue 20-Nov-18 09:10:53

DH struggled for years with getting a hearing aid that fitted his almost occluded (due to scarring) auditory canal. The NHS audiology service persisted with him trying several designs and many appointments. He feels this service is superior to a private provider who almost dismissed his problem.

kittylester Tue 20-Nov-18 09:16:47

Teetime has more or less said what I was going to say.

DH has slightly weird hearing loss due to his job but the audiologist at our local hospital persisted (and must have been bored rigid) but eventually has his hearing sorted.

Someone I know who paid a fortune for 'in the ear' aids has reverted to the NHS and eventually got things sorted.

VintageLace Wed 21-Nov-18 10:10:43

Hi everyone, I also have NHS hearing aids, and the audiologist told me that if I found the background noise too distracting or uncomfortable, that I could return to see him and he would 'recalibrate' the hearing aids. It just takes a visit to the audiologist and it is all done for you on the spot.. I'm lucky we have an audiologist at our GP service (they used to only do appointments at the hospital) but either way they can make the transition more comfortable if you just let them know.

ruthiep Sun 25-Nov-18 16:15:47

You have no idea how lucky you are getting free aids and even better, free batteries!!! Here in Israel there is no such thing as the NHS. We have memberships to health clinics which give us vastly reduced aids. I wear ones with a very small behind the ear thingey and a tiny microphone lodged inside my ear. Cost with clinic membership is approx 630 quid per aid, if I wasn't on the clinic it would be: nearly 5000 quid per aid. So no one goes private here, it's far too pricey. And we have to pay for batteries ourselves. The price difference between buying them in Israel (42 quid per box of sixty) and buying them online to London when I visit (11.41 per box of sixty) is ridiculous, so I buy tons of boxes whenever I visit the UK. But the aids are top of the range and very techie, and there's an app they're connected to so I can alter the volume and the range on my phone!

NfkDumpling Sun 25-Nov-18 22:04:34

I’m exceedingly grateful for my free hearing aids and yes I do realise how lucky I am! But mine don’t have a volume button, I just take them out if things get too loud!

ruthiep Sun 25-Nov-18 22:18:52

Mine don't have a volume button on the aid, just on the app. At least I don't think so, I've never noticed one.

NfkDumpling Mon 26-Nov-18 08:20:17

No app! At least I don't think so. I'm not sure I could cope with an app.

ruthiep Mon 26-Nov-18 11:28:51

smile If you manage with this website, you should manage an app smile

NfkDumpling Wed 28-Nov-18 19:23:00


oodles Fri 30-Nov-18 11:44:08

My dad decided to try non NHS aids but they were always back at the place being mended, in the end he went back to NHS and ho2 much better were they

ruthiep Fri 30-Nov-18 11:51:48

I can't comment on NHS hearing aids as I live abroad and so had to pay privately, but I've had mine over a month, and aside from changing the batteries, they've worked perfectly all the time.