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Wigan cut hearing aid waiting time by 50 weeks
Publisher: Pam Caulfield
Published: 10/04/2007 – 16:26:30 PM
The waiting time for a hearing aid fitting in Wigan has been cut by 50 weeks.
Patients now wait on average 13 weeks compared to the 63 weeks they waited prior to the in-depth investigation by Wigan Council’s health scrutiny committee.
The cross-party committee decided last year to look at the ‘social and physical impact’ of waiting times on patients waiting for treatment for loss or limited hearing.
Nationally, waiting lists for hearing aids have been rising due to the introduction of digital aids and shortages of staff.
The committee carried out some detailed research into the situation locally, using witness hearings, patient video diaries and a wide-ranging analysis of actual waiting times.
In its report, the committee said: “The NHS trust didn’t truly understand the length of time a patient was waiting until we provided them with our information. They responded quickly and have already increased staff and are looking at new equipment and a new style of fitting to speed the process up.
“The experience of patients in receiving the service wasn’t a bad one, but there were issues with accommodation at Leigh, and the long waits were having an impact on patients’ quality of life.”
Health scrutiny is a relatively new function for councils and this report is the third carried out by the health scrutiny committee. Continue