Tentative plans for reopening our doors are underway
Along with the majority of the country, we retreated behind closed doors on Monday 23rd March. Our team at the Practice hunkered down to their furloughed life at home but all the while the practice has remained open, operating within strict guidelines, staying safe but providing the necessary precious lifeline that hearing provides us all with – the ability to communicate and share our feelings and emotions with others. Something which we’ve all become to rely on to overcome our imposed isolation.
As a community audiology practice, we constantly talk about Hearing Wellness, which encompasses the ethos of our clinic. Hearing Wellness is directly connected to our emotional and social wellbeing and our wellness as a whole. We have experienced several specific situations in the last week or so where our clients have endured increased isolation, anxiety and stress because their hearing aids have needed some special attention.
As a small independent practice, we are nimble enough to quickly change course and adapt and engage with emerging technologies which have allowed us to remain connected with our clients virtually through special apps and video, to carry out some limited diagnostic tests, adjust hearing treatment technology and provide support.
Our kerbside drop-off and collection service has offered more practical solutions. Neither service is more important than the other and both have a part to play in our approach to overcome being unable to see clients face to face. We’ll publish a story how remote testing and fitting have worked well for one client in Europe soon but yesterday the importance of the practical approach was bought home to us.
Alan is 96 and suffers from memory loss. His daughter hadn’t seen him for 6 weeks because of the lockdown but was given special dispensation to travel an hour for a quick, socially distanced, visit in his current nursing home. Upon arrival, she found Alan unable to hear anything at all. His hearing aids were in his room, broken and in a sorry state! A further hours’ round trip to our practice and we were able to set up some hearing aids to lend Alan so he could hear and talk to his family.
His family emailed us along with a lovely picture to say: “He was so delighted that we were able to return the same afternoon with working aids. Upon putting them in he could immediately hear us! It was brilliant. He so appreciated that he can now hear his fellow companions in the home as well as us.”
Next week, we’ll publish a story of how we’ve also been able to help a client using the latest emerging technology and update you on our return to providing consultations in the practice following the publication of new national audiology guidelines on 1st May. We are currently working through a risk assessment and setting up a safe environment to see patients going forward.
Stay safe and be well
Hearing Healthcare Practice
Hertfordshire’s Hearing Wellness Clinic