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  • FIRST POST
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 9th Jan 18, 9:47 AM
    • 11,211Posts
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    Pennywise
    Are private hearing aids better than NHS?
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 18, 9:47 AM
    Are private hearing aids better than NHS? 9th Jan 18 at 9:47 AM
    I've had NHS hearing aids now for a year. I've been back to audiology dept several times as they're just not right. In a social setting, i.e. meeting, party, etc., they're completely useless as all they do is amplify the background noise meaning I still can't hear people talking. In fact, over Christmas, I found I could hear better without them. They're fine on, say, a country walk, as they amplify bird tweets etc.

    Just wondering whether it's because the NHS ones are poor quality, and whether I'd have a better outcome if I got some privately - they're expensive, starting at 495. I don't want to fork out that kind of money if they're going to be similar to the NHS ones.

    Anyone got any guidance or experience in moving from NHS to private?
Page 2
    • missile
    • By missile 11th Oct 18, 12:38 PM
    • 9,943 Posts
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    missile
    I suspect the service provided may depend on where you live? NHS post code lottery.

    My wife feels her private aids are much better and more comfortable to wear that those provided to her by NHS.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 11th Oct 18, 12:56 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,047 Thanks
    Ilona
    I have been wearing an NHS hearing aid for years, been changed a couple of times for a newer one. I have recently had a hearing test, a mould made of my ear, and a brand spanking new one issued to me. It's fantastic. When out walking I can hear noises a long way off. They are being improved all the time, the latest ones are brilliant. Can't fault it. Free batteries from the health centre across the road, make an appointment at audiology at the hospital if I need to see someone. No need to pay privately.

    ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • Archergirl
    • By Archergirl 11th Oct 18, 4:51 PM
    • 1,253 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Archergirl
    The batteries may be free to you, but they are not free, the NHS has to pay for them....just saying.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 11th Oct 18, 6:54 PM
    • 3,471 Posts
    • 3,639 Thanks
    LadyDee
    The batteries may be free to you, but they are not free, the NHS has to pay for them....just saying.
    Originally posted by Archergirl
    Well, fancy that! And where do you think the money to run the NHS comes from? That's right - me, from over 50 years of paying NI contributions and everybody else who has paid all their working lives.

    Just saying.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 12th Oct 18, 8:22 AM
    • 25,688 Posts
    • 67,920 Thanks
    pollypenny
    I have been wearing an NHS hearing aid for years, been changed a couple of times for a newer one. I have recently had a hearing test, a mould made of my ear, and a brand spanking new one issued to me. It's fantastic. When out walking I can hear noises a long way off. They are being improved all the time, the latest ones are brilliant. Can't fault it. Free batteries from the health centre across the road, make an appointment at audiology at the hospital if I need to see someone. No need to pay privately.

    ilona
    Originally posted by Ilona


    That's the problem with mine. I can hear things and people down the road, but not the person walking with me.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 13th Oct 18, 1:20 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,047 Thanks
    Ilona
    The batteries may be free to you, but they are not free, the NHS has to pay for them....just saying.
    Originally posted by Archergirl
    Cheeky beggar. What do you think I have been paying into for 45 years of my working life. Hardly ever used the NHS, one major, 2 minor operations, no long term health issues, fit and healthy at 69 because I eat the right foods and do plenty of exercise, and no medications don't need any. I think I am entitled to a hearing aid and batteries.

    Just saying

    ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 13th Oct 18, 2:28 PM
    • 39,496 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    That's the problem with mine. I can hear things and people down the road, but not the person walking with me.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    I think that should be solvable - or at least improvable - with adjustment!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • Scarboroughboy
    • By Scarboroughboy 28th Oct 18, 5:47 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    Scarboroughboy
    Anybody out there have experience of Phonak BD90 rechargeable hearing aids? I'm just about to purchase a pair from Specsavers but of course I have only their recommendation to rely on! Thanks
    • Archergirl
    • By Archergirl 28th Oct 18, 6:19 PM
    • 1,253 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Archergirl
    I know what you are saying re free batteries but paracetamol and aspirin is also available on prescription from the NHS but they are so cheap to buy I think people should buy them themselves, also hearing aid batteries if you can afford to. Just because we have all paid in ( I also worked full time for 47 yrs) doesn’t mean we have to take out every penny we can.
    I am not trying to annoy anyone it’s just what I think, sometimes people wouldn’t even think to just buy them. Where I live you have to go to the hospital to collect them, by the time you pay for parking it’s not a lot of difference, unless you want to spend half the day going by bus.....
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 29th Oct 18, 6:57 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,047 Thanks
    Ilona
    I know what you are saying re free batteries but paracetamol and aspirin is also available on prescription from the NHS but they are so cheap to buy I think people should buy them themselves, also hearing aid batteries if you can afford to. Just because we have all paid in ( I also worked full time for 47 yrs) doesn’t mean we have to take out every penny we can.
    I am not trying to annoy anyone it’s just what I think, sometimes people wouldn’t even think to just buy them. Where I live you have to go to the hospital to collect them, by the time you pay for parking it’s not a lot of difference, unless you want to spend half the day going by bus.....
    Originally posted by Archergirl
    Ok I get your drift, so, I shouldn't be having a free flu jab, a free mammogram, a free cervical smear, and a free bowel cancer test, just because I can. Wondered what your thoughts are on this.

    Deafness is a disability, it is the only disability I have, so I would like some help with it.

    ilona
    Last edited by Ilona; 29-10-2018 at 7:03 PM.
    I love skip diving.
    • Archergirl
    • By Archergirl 29th Oct 18, 7:29 PM
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    • 733 Thanks
    Archergirl
    My thoughts are have the tests,they pick up things early so prevent further problems, (a cervical smear saved my life) all I said was batteries, not even hearing aids, can’t really see a problem sorry.
    My reasoning is that they are not ‘free’ they have to be paid for by the NHS, any way in which we are able to mitigate the cost to the NHS must be a good thing. If it is a hardship to you by all means get them.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 29th Oct 18, 9:36 PM
    • 3,622 Posts
    • 2,538 Thanks
    Tom99
    My thoughts are have the tests,they pick up things early so prevent further problems, (a cervical smear saved my life) all I said was batteries, not even hearing aids, can’t really see a problem sorry.
    My reasoning is that they are not ‘free’ they have to be paid for by the NHS, any way in which we are able to mitigate the cost to the NHS must be a good thing. If it is a hardship to you by all means get them.
    Originally posted by Archergirl

    The NHS as a whole will get through millions and millions of hearing aid batteries each year so they will have had enormous negotiating power in purchasing these and will be paying only a tiny fraction of what a hearing aid user will pay if they buy them privately.
    It therefore makes sense to take advantage of this enormous discount.
    • lyndy lou
    • By lyndy lou 30th Oct 18, 7:46 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    lyndy lou
    hearing aids
    private hearing aids, just bought 2, nearly 3k but best money I have spent. Worth every penny
    • missile
    • By missile 30th Oct 18, 11:18 PM
    • 9,943 Posts
    • 5,041 Thanks
    missile
    The NHS as a whole will get through millions and millions of hearing aid batteries each year so they will have had enormous negotiating power in purchasing these and will be paying only a tiny fraction of what a hearing aid user will pay if they buy them privately.
    It therefore makes sense to take advantage of this enormous discount.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    Wish that were true. I hear that many items purchased by NHS are at inflated prices. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6269173/Failure-stop-medicine-rip-offs-costing-NHS-200-million-year.html
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • derekpicton
    • By derekpicton 7th Dec 18, 9:02 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    derekpicton
    NHS Hearing Aids v Private
    Hi Lindy lou

    You say you have just bought 2 for 3k my question is did you try NHS ones before getting private and if so how would you rate the difference?
    Or anyone else who has experience of both.
    I have had NHS one for last 12 years but the last 2 have been awful From 2 different NHS providers I have found my 4 year old ones are far far better than the most recent ones even tried 5 adjustments very frustrating
    • Skibunny40
    • By Skibunny40 7th Dec 18, 9:26 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    Skibunny40
    My DH has both and says there's very little difference in terms of hearing. However, from a vanity/comfort point of view, the private ones are much better.

    He buys batteries for both from Costco and they're very reasonable!
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 7th Dec 18, 7:59 PM
    • 39,496 Posts
    • 36,563 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    I have two siblings who have both 'gone private' to deal with very severe loss. One went back to NHS but there were definitely more 'features' available with the private provider.

    However, both have now had Cochlear Implants fitted and it has revolutionised their lives! You do have to be very deaf before you can be considered (another sibling has been turned down) and provision may vary from one area to another. Just putting the suggestion out there.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • justme111
    • By justme111 8th Dec 18, 7:56 AM
    • 3,173 Posts
    • 3,044 Thanks
    justme111
    My dad had both. Yes private ones are defo better. Saying that it depends how good an audiologist you have as I am sure not a great one could make private ones not so great and other way round but the odds in general are for private to be better.
    • mr_morritt
    • By mr_morritt 12th Jan 19, 5:47 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    mr_morritt
    maybe not
    I'm three months in now trying private hearing aids with mixed results.

    The NHS hearing aids were fitted and checked using REM technology i.e. real ear measurement and worked pretty good straight away. The trust told me that they had got the hearing aids in this year 2018 March and were the latest available. I think the phonak hearing aids are a few years old technology. I have a high hearing loss struggling to hear the wifes voice and high pitched voices generally.
    I find with the NHS hearing aids I do get a bit of white noise on top o noisy environments such as train stations and kitchen/resteraunts sounds a little high.

    I've just tried the latest Phonak Marvel hearing aids from boots costing 3000 with the latest bluetooth technology. Boots do not use REM to verify fit. I've been back twice now and the hearing aids don't seem as good as my NHS ones. They have lots of features with bluetooth (unreliable) and do seem to amplify very well but the background white noise I get with the hearing aids is no better than the NHS in some environments (not all). The strange thing is the clarity of speech is way better with the NHS hearing aids.

    I've also tried expensive widex beyond hearing aids from specsavers. I ended up having these turned up way past my prescription and they actually worked slightly better than the NHS and had better noise reduction.
    I also tried some siemens charge & go and they had superb natural voice which worked fantastic. However, again speech understanding was no better than the NHS. Noise reduction at translation, pubs was slightly better.

    My overall conclusion is that the NHS although not perfect are pretty good. Private hearing aids have more features but speech understanding is no better and certainly not worth paying 3000 pounds for. I don't think the technology is their yet in the hearing aids to warrant the price.
    By the way the price breakdown shows that the hearing aids actually cost something like 600 pounds and the rest of the cost goes to the practice i.e. boots or specsavers
    • justaquestion
    • By justaquestion 17th Jan 19, 10:13 PM
    • 613 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    justaquestion
    Private hearing test will probably last 30-40 mins but that is because they are really trying to sell you one, whereas NHS I found maybe 5-10 mins, nothing to sell.

    Private hearing tests usually have a few little clever tests, trying to convince you so as to swing the deal.

    I managed to get the cost price of NHS one time through a search online aids started around 90 for NHS to buy, you can be sure same aids probably cost over 700 each at private.

    High st shops, advertising, salaries, people to keep calling you up. That is what you pay for when you buy privately.
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