§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange for the controls of the National Health Service behind-the-ear hearing aids to be modified and include a combined microphone and pick-up coil position.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
The facility referred to by my hon. Friend is a feature of certain models of hearing aids in the MEDRESCO range and will be available on the new body-worn aid which is coming into service in August 1978. The combined switch position mainly benefits hearing-impaired children as it enables sound to be received simultaneously from the teacher, or some other source, and from an induction loop system. It would be uneconomic for all behind-the-ear hearing aids to be modified in the way suggested, but I am considering a proposal that a small number of modified aids in the BE10 series should be produced for use in a field trial before deciding whether they should be made available to children.