| July 2021 Update: All services returning to normal as of 19th July 2021. We've kept this article available for customers to access as a reference of our protocols during Coronavirus.
16/07/2021 Guidance Update: All areas and audiology services remain open for business
"All audiology healthcare appointments continue to remain essential medical visits and abide by the existing government and industry protocols. Following guidance from our industry, we are ensuring that we are practicing in a COVID secure environment" Paul Harrison - Director of Hearing Aid UK
Coronavirus has been in the UK for more than a year. With each week that goes by, we understand this virus more. With an effective vaccination program in place and the percentage of people who've had their second dose on the rise - infections contracted are starting to fall. However, we are also aware of the virus's unpredictability and the impact it has on all age groups - especially the older generation.
With this in mind, please note that even if you've had your first or second dose, you will still need to comply with all the audiology guidelines in clinic or in your own home.
The information below reflects our industry's guidance, as we continue to operate. Our aim here 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.
This means we are constantly being updated on new audiology guidelines, procedures and restrictions so we can operate safe hearing services for our audiologists 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.
If areas of the UK go under lockdown, firebreak or tiered restrictions. Don't worry, your audiologist will advise you on the new protocol. 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.
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).
It is important to note that this information is not exhaustive. You can download the latest Joint Guidance PDF below or if you have any questions regarding any of the following content - Call us free on 0800 567 7621
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.
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 will also ask you to wear a face mask during your appointment (unless you can't for medical reasons), 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.
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 still classed as high-risk or would rather an at-home service. In these circumstances, we will offer you a home visit from your local audiologist.
Whilst we've been able to see people in person for quite some time, we still understand that some people would rather book an at-home appointment or get remote assistance. If remote service is not suitable for your needs then we will book you in for an in-person visit.
For existing hearing aid wearers with an audiogram under two years old, we are able to perform a telephone consultation to assess your needs and then send the hearing aids out to you, programmed to your hearing loss.
For new hearing aid wearers or those without an audiogram under two years old then we may still be able to help. Provided you have a smart device such as an iPad or iPhone then for Phonak, Oticon, Signia and Widex hearing aids, we are able to dispatch the hearing aids to you by post and then perform a hearing test through the hearing aids to set them up for you remotely. This will not be suitable for all and we will assess your eligibility by telephone consultation.
This is not an ideal situation and the hearing aids will not perform as well as if they had been set up in person by one of our audiologists, however, these by-post fittings will be a temporary measure only until we are able to see you in person again, at which point you will be tested and fitted again and everything will be done to our usual high standard.
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.
You can download the official guidance document (June 1st 2021) that defines our procedures by clicking the button below for more information.
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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When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.