20/10/2020 Guidance Update: All areas remain open for business.
All healthcare appointments continue to remain essential medical visits and abide by the existing government and industry protocols. As we are aware, there are various restrictions throughout the UK, so our current risk assessments will now be centred around local restrictions set by the government.
In areas of the UK under lockdown, firebreak, or tiered restrictions - we are advised, as has been standard procedure from May 2020, to offer a digital approach where appropriate. However, if you are visiting one of our audiologists within the clinic - you may also be given a letter, email or text confirmation of your audiology appointment, in the event you need to show your travel need.
From the 1st of May 2020, audiology services were listed as an essential service by the government and our healthcare services have now resumed and are available to you now locally and at your convenience. This replaces the previous public health guidelines of our industry, stated on the 9th of April 2020.
The aim of this article is to provide you with the correct information on how we have adapted our services in both our clinics and home visits. We are working entirely within the current audiology government guidelines and receiving joint support and advice from the UK's audiology professional bodies below.
This means we are constantly being updated on new audiology guidelines, procedures and restrictions so we can operate safe hearing services for our audiologist and patients. We want to reassure our customers that we and our audiologists are doing everything we can to prevent the risk of transmission professionally and safely.
It is important to note that this information is not exhaustive and if you have any questions regarding any of the following content in this article or you would like more information about how your local audiologist can help you during and after Coronavirus - Call us free on 0800 567 7621
Due to the pandemic, the way in which we provide service to our patients has changed and we currently don't know how long for. But, what is important is that you can and will be looked after. Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are receiving regular updates, documents and official government and medical guidance. This ensures we can continue to offer you support and the care that you need, as well as keeping our audiologists and patient's as safe as possible. Our audiology procedures are in line with the NHS, recent government guidelines on COVID-19, Infection Prevention Society, our professional audiology bodies and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
For the foreseeable future, here are a few of the precautions we have put in place to make this possible in both our clinics and home visiting. However, please refer to the unique precautions below for both in-clinic appointments and home visiting services in more depth.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we cannot see you, either in the clinic or at home, if you or another member of your household has any symptoms of the virus. We can, however, book audiology appointments for those who are shielding or classed as high-risk. In these circumstances, you should remain isolated and we will not offer you clinic-based tests - but we will offer you a home visit.
We want to reassure our customers that not only can our audiologists provide safe care - you will still get a high level of customer experience and we can provide the usual full range of hearing solutions. Another important note is that although our audiologists can see patients with various earwax issues, the guidelines prevent us from performing micro-suction or hearing tests on patients with an active perforation or "wet ear" due to the risk of possible transmission of the virus.
In this article we will be referring to PPE, but what actually is it? PPE is an abbreviation of Personal Protective Equipment, which is worn to protect the wearer from injury or infection. In the current Coronavirus pandemic, and for our audiologists, this would be a face mask, gloves, and if wax removal is to be done, also an apron. This reduces the risk of transmission and provides the safest systems of working for face-to-face consultations.
The audiologist may also ask you to wear a face mask during your appointment, especially when treatment or an examination has to be done within a 2m distance. All PPE worn by the audiologist will be put on and removed properly. Disposing of the PPE will follow the clinical waste guidelines and only be used once.
Whilst we are happy to see people in person at this time, it is still recommended for those who are shielding that anything that can be done remotely and without coming into contact with anyone should be the preferred option. If remote service is not suitable for your needs then we will book you in for an in-person visit. The remote services we offer are;
Please refer to the following screening questions, advised by the government, that you will be asked before your scheduled appointment via telephone. This will help keep us from coming into contact with those symptomatic with COVID-19. If you answer yes to any of the following you will be advised to self-isolate and look at the NHS website for guidance. Once your symptoms have ceased you can contact your audiologist to revisit your audiological needs.
Similarly to in-clinic appointments:
As mentioned earlier, we have been advised by our audiology professional bodies with a framework for new protocol practices we undertake in clinics and in our home visiting services. They have constructed together with the official public health guidelines from the government, NHS, Infection Prevention Society and the World Health Organisation (WHO) a document for our use.
We are constantly taking a proactive approach to be up to date with the current COVID-19 research and guidance. As said guidance is updated, we will edit this article to reflect this and implement new practice protocols within our nationwide network as and when it is required.
Please view the official audiology flow chart below, which advises the best form of safe practice for both you and the audiologist.
You can download the official guidance document that defines our procedures by clicking the button below.
We hope that this article has helped you feel more confident in the safe healthcare services we can provide and that we can cater for your hearing needs. What's the next step? Please contact us on 0800 567 7621 if you have any of the following queries:
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