Hearing aids are sold privately and are free from the NHS. Both options have advantages and drawbacks in terms of cost, type, availability and waiting time. This article compares the NHS waiting time for hearing aids to the waiting time when buying from a private dispenser.
Hearing aids are widely available and offered in a variety of models, designs and colours. You can choose the one that best fits your specific hearing impairment condition and personal taste.
How Long is the NHS Waiting Time Hearing Aids?
Receiving a hearing aid from the NHS, while free of charge, can be a lengthy process. The steps are as follows:
- Visit your GP for a referral to an NHS audiologist. Waiting time is usually around 6 weeks.
- The audiologist will then perform a professional hearing test to determine the exact type and degree of hearing loss. The hearing aid types offered by the NHS are much more limited than those you can obtain privately.
- The audiologist will recommend the best hearing aid for you and make another appointment to fit your hearing aid. The waiting time for a fitting appointment can be up to 3 months depending on the hearing aid you choose.
- You will receive your hearing aid at the fitting appointment and some hearing aids need adjustments after you start using them. You may need a second appointment to get it right. You will need to be patient, your brain needs to adjust to the new range of sounds it's hearing. You may need to wait quite sometime before you feel the full benefits of your hearing aid. This is totally normal.
How long does it take to get Hearing aids privately
Another option is to purchase your hearing aids from a private dispenser, either from a high street shop or online. The hearing aids offered privately cover all types and models that are available on the market. You will have an abundance of choices and have the opportunity to find the perfect hearing aid for you. Buying your hearing aid privately will substantially shorten your waiting time. You will be able to benefit from your hearing aid much faster.
Buying a Hearing Aid from the High Street
Purchasing a hearing aid from the high street involves making a hearing test appointment which can last over an hour. Your hearing aid will then be ordered and there is likely to be another wait to receive your hearing aid.
Buying a Hearing Aid Online
Purchasing a hearing aid from Hearing Direct not only saves you a significant amount of money but also means that you can receive it within 24hrs. Ordering from Hearing Direct means that your hearing aid can arrive on your doorstep within 24 hours of your order. We also have an online hearing test which takes the same form as the test an audiologist will perform and only takes 3 minutes. We can program most of our hearing aids with the result of the audiogram before we send them to you.
The hearing aids offered on the website do not require taking an impression of the individual ear (recent models use open fit technology). You can, therefore, choose your hearing device, purchase it today and receive it tomorrow. In case it is not the perfect fit or if you do not feel a significant benefit from your hearing aids you can return them within 30 days and receive a full refund. Moreover, the warranty period covers a whole year and the device is sent with a fresh packet of batteries so you can start using your hearing aid straight away.
Further ReadingOur blog is home to a number of valuable resources, including more informative posts about NHS hearing aids. Below is a selection of articles which may also interest you:
- NHS Hearing Aids
- NHS Hearing Aid Batteries
- Types of NHS Hearing Aid
- NHS Hearing Aids vs Private Hearing Aids
- NHS Hearing Aid Cost
About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, and information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.
Author: Joan McKechnie
After qualifying as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Joan has spent most of her 20 year career in hearing-care related roles. She has a wealth of experience within the hearing aid and hearing rehabilitation fields and has worked in manufacturing environments with two hearing aid companies helping to develop products and roll out new technologies. Joan has been involved with Hearing Direct since its launch and enjoys the online retail environment which seeks to provide easier access to hearing products and accessories. She is HCPC registered. Read Joan's full bio here.