Hearing aid delays must be eased

HEARING loss is not in itself a life-threatening condition, but it can really affect the quality of life for any sufferers.Modern hearing aids can ease the problems faced by those with hearing problems considerably - and while digital devices are not cheap, they can really transform lives.

HEARING loss is not in itself a life-threatening condition, but it can really affect the quality of life for any sufferers.

Modern hearing aids can ease the problems faced by those with hearing problems considerably - and while digital devices are not cheap, they can really transform lives.

So it is a great shame that there is such a long waiting list for digital hearing aids at Ipswich Hospital.

The hospital's waiting time to get a digital hearing aid, 71 weeks, is the fourth longest in the country - and that means there are thousands of people forced to suffer in silence . . . or at least in muffled sounds.

Fitting a hearing aid is a specialist job and needs to be undertaken with care. It is a skill that cannot be rushed.

But it does seem odd that it takes nearly 18 months to get a hearing aid in Ipswich when in other parts of the country the delay is only about half that.

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A witch-hunt at Ipswich Hospital would serve no purpose - but bosses at Heath Road really should look at how other hospitals work and see if any of their systems could be brought in here.

Of course people with genuinely life-threatening conditions should always be given priority, but those who need treatment to improve their quality of life must not always feel they have been left at the back of the queue.

LONG summer holidays can be boring for youngsters - and bored youngsters can get themselves into trouble.

So keeping youngsters occupied should help to keep them off the streets . . . and away from troublesome temptations.

And that certainly seems to be the case in Ipswich where the police organised Game On sports sessions to keep children occupied.

Incidences of anti-social behaviour and shoplifting have fallen as youngsters channelled their energies into more constructive activities.

Now the youngsters are back at school trouble should not be such a problem - but the police can take quiet satisfaction from their involvement in the Game On scheme. It was a job well done.

IPSWICH has a gymnastics centre which is the envy of many other towns and cities across the country, and now there is further evidence of its importance.

The centre is to host the British Men's Gymnastic Championship and a women's international between Great Britain and Russia.

That is a clear endorsement of the quality of the facilities in the town and should boost attempts to encourage national teams to look at Ipswich for training camps in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

The London games are a massive opportunity for this region, and Ipswich in particular, to promote its sporting facilities - and the decision by the British gymnastics administrators is great news for sport in the town.

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