At a reception at the House of Commons, the Royal National Institute for the Deaf explained the benefits of digital hearing aids.
The Director of RNID said "Thanks to the support of so many MPs and Peers, digital hearing aids will be available at a third or more of English NHS Trusts by March 2003.
This is a great step forward in ensuring that digital hearing aids will be available for hundreds of thousands of deaf and hard of hearing people. At least an extra 30 NHS Trusts will be making digital hearing aids available and a least a further 15 hospitals will be provided with the necessary training and equipment to fit them.
Robust evidence now exists showing the immense benefits of digital hearing aids. The First Wave of modernisation has shown that digital hearing aids confer an extraordinary 41% increase in patient benefit over analogue.
The selection of Trusts which will receive the new Department of Health funding for digital hearing aids will be significantly influenced by the financial commitment of local Primary Care Trusts and the support shown by hospital management.