Skip navigationals



Royal National Institute for Deaf People Website

Department of Health Website


Thursday 29th April 2004


A new video and information booklet for deaf and hard of hearing people have been launched at ‘MHAS Today and Tomorrow’ (1), a conference held by RNID - the charity representing the UK’s nine million deaf and hard of hearing people - to celebrate the success of the Modernising Hearing Aid Services (MHAS) programme.

The video, ‘Going Digital!’, has been produced by Remark, a production company run by deaf people, and will be made available by RNID to around 160 NHS Trusts across the country, where it will be shown to patients waiting to see audiologists.

The 10 minute video follows a patient’s journey from their initial assessment to the digital hearing aid fitting and the follow up consultation approximately three months later. Audiology patients from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust volunteered to take part in the film, which was funded by the Department of Health. The video gives audiology patients information about what to expect from the digital hearing aid fitting process and will help put them at ease.

The booklet, called ‘How To Use Your Hearing Aid’ has been written by RNID and the Department of Health to help people who are newly fitted with a digital hearing aid. Patients will be given the booklet by their audiologist when their digital hearing aid is first fitted (2).

Modernising Hearing Aid Services - MHAS
£125 million of government funding has been made available over a period of four years for the MHAS programme. It aims to modernise hearing aid services across England by introducing new improved appointment guidelines, investing in IT and making the latest hearing aid technology available within the NHS. The programme started in 2000 and so far 80% of NHS audiology services have been modernised. To date, over 235,000 NHS digital hearing aids have been fitted with more than 160,000 people benefiting from the programme.

The conference, at The Mermaid in Blackfriars, London, was opened by Dr John Low, Chief Executive of RNID and Ian Berry from the Department of Health and chaired by Philippa Palmer, RNID Director of Health Programmes, who said:

“It was wonderful to be able to bring together those who have worked so hard on the MHAS programme. The Today and Tomorrow conference gave us the opportunity to celebrate our successes and discuss future possibilities. NHS hearing aid services have been revolutionised - our task now is to ensure the modernisation process is sustained so patients continue to enjoy high standards of care and the latest technologies.”

Notes for editors:

(1) The MHAS Today and Tomorrow conference was held to explore lessons learnt since the inception of the MHAS programme in 2000 and to share ideas for sustaining the modernised service. Speakers included Professor Adrian Davies, Director of Newborn Hearing Screening and Epidemiology, MRC IHR and John Bamford, Professor of Audiology, Human Communication and Deafness unit at the University of Manchester/ Modernising Children’s Hearing Aid Services (MCHAS) team.

Presentations included Modernising Hearing Aid Services: Do Patients Benefit and Why?; Modernising Children’s Hearing Aid Services: evaluation, training and what comes next; and Action on Audiology – Top Ten Tips. For more information on the presentations contact the MHAS team on 0207 296 8022.

(2) For further information on the video and booklet please contact the MHAS team on 0207 296 8022.