A 108-year-old British woman has been told she must wait 18 months before getting the kind of hearing aid doctors say she needs.

Olive Beal and her family members believe she may not be around by the time the Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust get around to providing the digital hearing aid.

“I could be dead by then,” Beal said.

By the time she receives one, Beal will be 110.

Doctors prescribed a modern digital hearing aid which cuts out background noise to make it easier for Beal to hear conversations and listen to music.

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“After a hearing test, they [doctors] said, ‘Yes, she does need a digital hearing aid, but there is an 18-month waiting list,'” said Beal’s granddaughter Maria Scott.

A spokesman for Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust said priority is given to patients who do not have an existing hearing aid and that waiting times were being reduced.