HUDDERSFIELD people are facing shorter waits for hearing aids than in other parts of the country, new research shows.
A study by the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists has uncovered a postcode lottery when it comes to NHS hearing aids, with patients in some areas waiting up to three years.
But in Huddersfield 14 weeks is the time it takes for hearing aids to be prescribed and fitted.
And wearers needing digital upgrades are also seen within 14 weeks.
The figures come after the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust opened extra clinics and invested more cash this year to cut waiting lists.
Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority provided the money for new digital upgrades.
The move helped to cut waiting lists in Huddersfield from 2,000 to just 18, bucking the national trend, with half the country’s hospitals reporting waits of more than six months.
Paul Cutler, hearing aid audiologist for the Hearing Company – based at Scrivens at Cloth Hall Street, Huddersfield – said: “People suffering from hearing loss are the poor relations when compared to people with visual problems.
“We have been urging the Government to introduce a system for providing hearing aids which is similar to the one offered for spectacles.
“This would give patients faster and easier access to hearing services, along with a wider range of hearing aid options to choose from.”
The survey said the South-East of England was the worst blackspot for NHS hearing aids.
Patients had to wait 18 months just to have their hearing tested and a further six month for aids to be fitted.