Protesters from an older people's group have voiced their fury at charity for selling hearing aids.
Members of the Enfield Over 50s forum, based at Millfield House, Silver Street, expressed their anger outside Age UK's offices in Vincent House, Hertford Road.
The forum believes the charity is persuading older people to spend their hard-earned money on hearing aids at the expense of Chase Farm Hospital’s audiology department, which gives out the aids for free.
The forum's life president Monty Meth said: “We cannot understand why Age UK Enfield is currently seeking to persuade older people to spend hard-earned money buying a hearing aid from a private American-backed company that cannot possibly offer the continuous after-care service you get at Chase Farm Hospital.”
Forum members held a banner that read “protect our NHS”.
They believe the advertising is deceiving older people into buying hearing aids from the charity.
Mr Meth added: “We believe in the NHS and we need to maintain one of the best audiology departments in the country and Chase Farm.
“Why should people be giving Age Concern and an American company money? There is no follow up and it’s disgraceful.
“Age UK is supposed to be a charity and we think it’s wrong that they are misleading older people.”
In a letter responding to the concerns of the forum, Age UK said: “Age UK Hearing Aids aim to find the best solution for every patient; advising on all the choices available and making the patient aware of all their options whether it’s the NHS and its important service for a free hearing aid or a bespoke option tailored to personal needs.
“The partnership between Age UK and UK Hearing Aids is a commercial one, which has been established to encourage older people to seek help with hearing problems, however, all profits are gift-aided back to help fund our charitable activity.”
However, members believed the letter response to be “hollow”, offering no solace to the outraged protesters.