A severely deaf woman could face a 14-year wait for a new hearing aid on the NHS.
June Hews, 76, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was shocked to discover she was number 582 on the waiting list for a digital hearing aid to replace her analogue one.
In the last six months she has only moved up only 20 places - at the current pace of delivery she could expect her "new" aid when she is 90.
Mrs Hews needs a digital aid because her hearing has degenerated and the new technology is more sophisticated at picking up sounds and reducing feedback.
The pensioner said she was appalled she would have to wait so long for a new hearing aid from Cheltenham General Hospital and is now considering going private. "Should this rate of progress be maintained, I will get my new hearing aids in 2020. It's possible I may be alive in 14 years' time, but what about the people who are in their 80s and 90s?"
A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "There is a growing demand for this service but we would like to reassure patients that our audiology staff are doing all they can." ..SUPL: