The Nottingham Cochlear Implant Programme is celebrating its 1,000th patient - an eight-month-old baby.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust runs the programme at the Queen' s Medical Centre and the Ropewalk in Nottingham. The first cochlear implant operation was carried out on a child in 1989.
Patients and staff cut a cake at a gathering on Friday, which was attended by one of the programme's oldest recipients, aged 85. The programme's team also compiled a video scrapbook, describing how patients' lives have been improved by the operation.
Tracey Twomey, Clinical Scientist and Head of Service, said: “It is wonderful to be celebrating this milestone together with our patients. As a team, we are working at the forefront of the field to maximise the listening opportunities for deaf children and adults. We now routinely expect to offer two cochlear implants to children under the age of one, which is really benefitting patients.
“The improvement in quality of life for deaf people can be tremendous. Profoundly deaf children can more easily learn to understand speech and to talk, improving education and employment opportunities. Deafened adults are able to resume activities, whether social or work-based, which had become much more difficult as they lost their hearing.
“The centre is about much more than just the operation. We continue to support patients afterwards, and as the treatments advance, we are able to do more and more.”