Hearing Care Services during the Covid-19 pandemic
Here’s everything you need to know about our hearing care services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What you need to know
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, audiology/hearing services services have been highlighted as an essential service.
Following recently issued guidance from our professional bodies and in accordance with guidance from Gov.uk and Public Health England we are opening our practices/clinics for those in need of hearing care services.
In order to comply with the latest guidance on social distancing and safe working in a clinical outpatients setting, we have had to modify the way we work, with your safety as well as the safety of our colleagues, our utmost priority. As a result we will start opening our practices/clinics with skeletal staff and reduced opening times, so please bear with us during this road to recovery.
We have taken the following additional precautions to help minimize the spread of coronavirus:
- We will be operating an appointment only service so you will need to pre-book any type of visit/appointment with the practice/clinic first. We will be operating a locked door policy during the initial opening period with a one in one out policy.
- There will be no waiting in the practice/clinic so please attend at your appointment time and not before. If so, you may be asked to wait in your car or go for a walk until you allocated time.
- Increased frequency of cleaning/steralising for waiting areas and consulting rooms.
- Scheduling appointments so that there is adequate time between patients/customers for additional cleaning and to minimise the number of people in the practice/clinic at any one time so that 2m social distancing can be observed. Inevitably this may result in reduced appointment availability.
- Strict observation of 2m social distancing between patients/customers and staff where possible in waiting areas and in the consulting room, unless necessary for clinical procedures. Markings will be provided on the floor to help you judge your distance and sneeze/cough screens will be in place.
- Best practice hand hygiene, for all staff and patients. Hands must be washed or santised with gel frequently and before and after appointments. You will be asked to use hand sanitiser upon entering the premises or waiting area and also be asked to wear a surgical face mask unless you bring your own.
- The use of PPE during clinical procedures where 2m distancing is not possible. Your audiologist will be wearing a surgical face mask (type II fluid resistant), gloves, apron and face visors for certain procedures.
Before confirming your appointment booking you will be ‘triaged’ and asked the following questions:
- Do you or anyone in your household have or had coronavirus?
- Do you or anyone in your household have a new, continuous cough?
- Do you or anyone in your household have a high temperature (37.8 C or over)?
- Do you or anyone in your household have a loss of taste or smell?
If you have answered yes to any of the questions above PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND for an appointment, you should self-isolate and follow NHS COVID-19 advice. Contact us again when you no longer have symptoms.
If you feel that your need for an appointment is not essential at this time, then please contact us to discuss whether it may be more appropriate to book the appointment at a later date once the current lockdown measures have been relaxed or there is further advice from the government.
What you need to do
- Please try and arrive 5mins before your appointment but remain in your car or outside the practice/clinic, until the time of your appointment.
- You may need to knock or phone to let us know you are here.
- One of our team will unlock the door and will go through the triage questions again to ascertain that there have been no changes to your health or anyone that you live with since you were triaged by phone.
- You will be provided with instructions on where to stand and how to sanitise your hands and to put on a face mask, or you can bring your own if required.
- Please observe 2m social distancing at all times and speak behind the sneeze/cough screen.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, please use the tissues provided or into your elbow.
- Please avoid touching display items or other items whilst in the practice/clinic. We are unable to offer drinks or the use of toilet facilities currently.
- All payments will be taken preferably by card.
- Please wash or sanitise your hands before leaving the building and either take your face mask with you or please dispose of in the pedal bin provided.
Services that we are able to offer in practice/clinic, with the appropriate use of PPE.
(For any home visit appointments these will have to be discussed with the individual practice/clinic Audiologist).
- New Hearing aid tests/assessments (it may still be advisable to bring a family member with you for support and to act as another set of ears).
- Hearing aid fittings
- Hearing aid follow ups
- Repairs or servicing
- Ear wax removal appointments may be limited due to demand. Please check with your local practice/clinic
- Tinnitus advice
- Shooting/noise protection
If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call your local practice/clinic. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time and as always thank you for allowing us to assist you with your hearing healthcare needs.