GP Care’s NHS Audiology Service provides hearing assessment and hearing aid fittings at convenient community clinic locations for NHS patients aged 50 and over who are suffering from gradual hearing loss. The service, including the provision of the hearing aids themselves, is available free of charge to NHS patients registered in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North East Essex who can be referred to the service by their GP.
The GP Care NHS Audiology Service is available to book at any one of the many locations upon receipt of a GP referral. We also provide a domicilliary service to housebound patients.
Making a Referral
We accept referrals via eReferral, phone (to 0333 332 2104), fax (to 0845 625 2114) or via secure email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) if eReferral is unavailable.
The Audiology Service is provided by a team of expert audiologists with many years of experience in providing services to NHS patients.
We aim to reduce the number of visits for patients wherever possible and appropriate. As such both assessment and fitting are offered as a ‘one stop’ service. However, based on patient preference and social factors the patient will also have the option of deferring the hearing aid fitting until a later appointment.
Assessment and supply and fitting of the original hearing aids are services that we provide under the NHS and are free of charge to patients. Please note that this service does not try to ‘up-sell’ to patients by offering them private hearing aids for which they would have to pay.
This service has quickly grown in volume and scope and now includes patients in prison in partnership with Bristol Community Health.
We aim to offer appointments for patients within two weeks of the date of the GP referral being received.
Access and Parking
All of the clinics have disabled access and have either free on-site parking or ample adjacent free road parking.
We offer a personalised service: we talk to patients and deliver excellent clinical care in a way that is friendly, convenient and well administered. Our methods are as follows:
- We always offer a choice of clinic locations and agree a convenient appointment time, rather than just sending an appointment letter;
- The patient has a lengthy hearing assessment when the audiologist will not only test hearing levels using a state of the art potable audiometer but also discuss with the patient the specific situations in which they have difficulty hearing;
- An Individual Management Plan (IMP) is created to capture all of this information. The patient will then be offered the hearing aid fitting and the audiologist will take time to explain the realistic outcomes of wearing the aid;
- We provide patients with a telephone number to call should they have any concerns or require follow up, after care or more batteries. Telephone lines are open from 8.00am to 8.00pm with all calls being answered by a member of the admin team, rather than by an answering machine or messaging service.
- We provide patients with immediate verbal reports and written reports where appropriate at the end of their appointment.
We pride ourselves on giving patients the best option in terms of hearing aids. The aids we supply are technologically advanced. Unique innovations include WhistleBlock technology which cancels any feedback to increase audibility to provide a natural sound quality. Another advantage is NoiseBlock processing which automatically detects background noise and suppresses it. For example if you are holding a conversation in a restaurant, the hearing aid will suppress noise and conversations taking place around you and allow you to focus in on the speech within your immediate conversation.
What happens after the patient is seen?
At the end of the appointment patients return home with their hearing aid(s), care instructions and details of how to obtain batteries.
The GP is sent a report including tests results and details of the type of hearing aid fitted to ensure that the GP’s patient records are complete and up to date.
Patients will also be offered a follow-up. This will enable discussion of any concerns or problems they experience within the first few weeks of using their hearing aid. Initially we will phone the patient to discuss progress with them as regards their improved hearing. If there are any concerns or the patient requests a follow up visit, they would be invited back to clinic to see the audiologist team again.
We are working closely with Action on Hearing Loss who provide after care drop-in clinics for our patients in North-East Essex.
For further information on this Audiology Service for patients, GPs or NHS commissioners is available by calling the Audiology Service Team on 0333 332 2104 or e-mailing us at email@example.com.