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NHS Hearing Aids UK



Thinking about NHS hearing aids? Or not sure whether going private would be better? Here we have compiled a brief informative page to help you make the right decision for you, your lifestyle, your needs and the level of your hearing loss.



Below is a quick reference to some of the CONS of NHS hearing aids in the UK.  The PROS of these hearing aids, as well as other information, can be found further down the page.

Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form on the right and one of our audiologists will be happy to answer any of your questions on hearing healthcare or hearing aids.

Questions like: Do NHS hearing aids have Bluetooth?  How much do NHS hearing aids cost?  Or are NHS hearing aids any good?



NHS hearing aids are free, but you don't own your devices
The choice of hearing aid styles and models are limited
They don't currently offer Bluetooth hearing aids
You will be charged if you lose your hearing aid
The waiting time from referral to treatment is long
Want to know more about private hearing aids?
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NHS Hearing Aids

Diagnosis is key

If you think your hearing has changed, then you must get your hearing checked as soon as possible.  Your local GP or Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) centre can detect any problems like hearing loss, infection or illness.  Hearing tests are free on the NHS, but if you need specialist treatment – your ENT department will undertake this for you.

Comparison = confident decision making

It is here you can also discuss the hearing healthcare options available to you from the NHS, as well as the NHS hearing aids currently on offer.  Like with all things there is always value in comparisons.  Explore the private hearing healthcare route, as we feel it is always beneficial to compare services with a second opinion to make a more valuable and confident choice for your hearing future.

NHS Hearing Aids

Feel less like a number

We know that independent audiologists, like us, were rated 86% this year (2021) from patients in regard to the service and hearing aids purchased.  We also know, from experience, that patients feel less like a number and more valued as an individual when they opt for private care. 

Every hearing loss is different

Your hearing loss is just as unique as you and deserves the right treatment with the right hearing aid provider.  However, we understand that each and every person is different and what might suit someone might not be right for the next.  There are so many factors when considering private or  NHS hearing aids - you just have to weigh up what's the most important to you in regards to your hearing.  But what are the pros and cons to both private and NHS hearing aids?

Are NHS hearing aids any good? The PROS & CONS of Both

CONS of NHS Hearing Aids

  • The choice of styles and features of NHS hearing aids are very limited and more often than not, you'll be offered a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid.  This could be either an open fit device or an ear mould.  There are also a few areas that can offer receiver-in-the-canal NHS hearing aids (RIC).  Check with your local NHS provider to see what styles are available in your area.
  • Whilst NHS hearing aids are free they do incur a charge if you lose them, as you don't own your devices and you are liable to pay for a replacement.
  • There is quite a long waiting list to be seen by your local NHS audiologist, the maximum is currently 18 weeks from referral to treatment (i.e receiving your hearing aids).  It will also depend on your location.
  • NHS hearing aids Bluetooth:  Currently, the NHS does not offer Bluetooth hearing aids - but this might change in the future on some basic level.

PROS of NHS Hearing Aids

  • NHS hearing aids free of charge.


  • You get free follow-up appointments, repairs and batteries for the life of your NHS hearing aids.


  • Some NHS providers offer audiology drop-in clinics for aftercare and even home visits can be arranged.


Now let's take a look at the PROS and CONS of going private below...

PROS of Private Hearing Aids

  • If you go private you will have access to a full range of digital hearing aids on the market - from behind-the-ear (BTE) to styles that are pretty much impossible to see.
  • You will also have access to the most advanced and innovative technology available, with beneficial features for your hearing loss.
  • All models available with your private audiologist will be digital and include Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Your hearing experience will be tailored made by your hearing care professional to suit your hearing loss perfectly.
  • Book all your hearing healthcare appointments at your convenience.
  • You will be seen quickly with private hearing healthcare and then receive your hearing aids within the week on average.  This all depends on whether the hearing aids you chose are bespoke fit or not.  If they need to be tailor-made, ear moulds will need to be taken and sent off to the manufacturer.
  • Private audiologists offer free hearing tests and home visits to all their patients wherever they live.
  • You'll see the same audiologist for all your hearing healthcare appointments with more time to explore hearing aids, treatment and follow-up appointments.

CONS of Private Hearing Aids

  • People are generally put off by the price of hearing aids, but in reality, you will be advised on all the hearing aids available that will suit you the most - that doesn't mean you'll need the most expensive device.


  • You will have to pay for your hearing batteries unless the hearing aids you chose are rechargeable models.


  • Your hearing aid will need replacing, on average, at least every four years - so it is more than a one-off investment.



Please remember our PROS and CONS for private hearing healthcare are based around our own ethos and services. 

Not all private audiologists will offer home visits either for free or at all.  Check with your provider at your first point of call.

NHS Hearing Aids

NHS Hearing Aids Review

Want more information about NHS vs Private hearing healthcare?

This page is designed to just give you a taste of information surrounding NHS hearing aids and private hearing aids and healthcare - there is so much more!  Click on the following link to read our article that talks about this topic in more in-depth detail and our honest NHS hearing aids review.

NHS vs Private >>  Read Now

NHS Hearing Aids Near Me

It is important that you receive the right information from the start when you are researching who to purchase your hearing aids from.  From experience, before our appointments with our patients, we ask them to write down any questions or anxieties about their hearing, hearing aids or future hearing care.  You might even want to bring along a friend or family member to support you during this process and any decision making.

Like we said previously, it is always beneficial to see what the NHS and private services have to offer you - then you can make a more informed choice.

Other information your NHS provider can give you at your appointment:

  1. NHS hearing aids available
  2. The best NHS hearing aids available
  3. NHS hearing aids cleaning and maintenance
  4. NHS hearing aids controls
  5. NHS hearing aids brands
  6. NHS hearing aids batteries
  7. NHS hearing aids aftercare
  8. NHS hearing care home visits

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