The NHS turns a ripe old 70 on 5 July, but this also marks a huge milestone for the hearing loss community. It was the first time ‘deaf’ was written into the British statute and for the first time free hearing aids were made available for all those who need them.
Our charity, then known as NID, was one of the main driving forces behind the decision to make hearing aids completely free on the NHS.
Arguing the cause, our charity’s former president the Sixth Duke of Montrose, Graham James told Parliament in 1948: “If a man cannot bite he is to be allowed artificial teeth free of cost; if he cannot see he is to be allowed spectacles free of cost; it therefore seems only fair that if a man cannot hear he should be allowed an aural aid free of cost.”
To this day the public continue to benefit from free hearing aids, battery replacements and maintenance on the NHS, but our work as a charity is not over yet.
There are still battles to be won and our current campaigns fight for an improved service that everyone can benefit from.
To learn more about our work with the NHS and its history check out our video, blogs and historical archive below.