§ David Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress has been made in reducing the number of analogue hearing aids used by NHS patients in(a) North West Leicestershire and (b) the East Midlands since January 2002; 
(2) what progress is being made in the provision of NHS digital hearing aids in (a) North West Leicestershire and (b) the East Midlands. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
Details of those audiology services that have been modernised are available in the Library. There are no plans to monitor the reduction in the number of people using analogue aids.
I refer my hon. Friend to the response given to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) on 26 January 2004, Official Report, column 176W.
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 10 February 2004]Digital hearing aids are already available on the national health service for residents of Taunton Deane and West Somerset. A small number of digital hearing aids were made available in January 2004. However, the audiology department at the Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust will begin rolling out digital hearing aids comprehensively in March 2004 when 1,000 existing analogue users will start converting to digital technology.