Coronavirus: adult audiology service update
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the interest of patient safety we have made some changes to the way our service works. Some of these changes will become permanent and some will be lifted once it is deemed safe to do so.
We have been providing a postal repair and battery service during the pandemic. We will continue to provide this service to all who need it. Patients can request batteries or tubing by phone or email. If your hearing aids are faulty and require repair or replacement you can send them to us by post (we recommend using registered post for this) – we will then repair your hearing aid(s) and send them back to you by registered post.
We will be replacing the walk-in hearing aid repair and maintenance service with a booked repair service.
You may have received notification of this by text message. We hope that this change will improve the service for all patients, ensuring there are no excessive waiting times and enhancing infection control processes.
Patients can book repair appointments by telephone or email:
- for repair appointments at Charing Cross call 0203 311 1021
- for repair appointments at St Mary Abbots Hearing Aid Centre call 0203 315 6011
- email address for both sites: firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be no change to the service at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington as this has always operated as a booked repair service.
- for repair appointments at St Marys Hospital call 020 3312 1015
- email address for St Mary’s site: email@example.com
We may offer more telephone consultations and introduce video consultation appointments where this is appropriate and accessible.
If you were due an assessment of your tinnitus, we will contact you by telephone at the time of your appointment to discuss managing your tinnitus.
Micro-suction – wax removal
We have suspended our micro-suction wax removal service.
If you are offered a face to face appointment you may notice some differences in our waiting room and our clinic rooms. There may be social distancing measures in place and staff may be wearing personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.
We would appreciate if you could help us protect your safety by:
- attending appointments as close to your appointment time as possible to avoid over-crowding in the waiting room
- bringing only one family member or carer only if this is necessary (this person will have to accompany you into the clinic room and will not be permitted to wait in the waiting room)
- avoid attending if you feel unwell
Our audiology service, often referred to as our hearing and balance service, aims to meet the communication needs of the community and address balance and hearing problems.
We deliver a compassionate service for people, integrating cutting edge technology with a personal and holistic approach in adult audiology.
We are able to see patients in community settings to offer care closer to home. If a patient is house-bound or in any of the elderly care homes (Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Chiswick and parts of Ealing) we are able to offer a home visit for diagnosis and treatment.
Specialist care offered includes:
- adult diagnostic audiology and rehabilitation
- counselling on acceptance of hearing loss and advice on improving communication skills
- direct-access referrals for hearing assessment from GPs
- hearing therapy, including tinnitus retraining therapy
- vestibular diagnostics and rehabilitation
- community services including domiciliary visits and community audiology lead clinics
- provision of digital hearing aids
Conditions and treatments
- Hearing loss: Our specialist one-to-one counselling supports all aspects of adaptation to hearing loss, including:
- auditory training to boost recognition of speech sounds with hearing loss or a new hearing aid
- training in lip reading, specialist equipment for home, work or study and onward referral where necessary
- Tinnitus: We provide specialist one-to-one counselling to support your use of tinnitus retraining therapy, which may include sound enrichment. We can also advise you on practical strategies to manage the condition and any stress associated with it.
- Obscure auditory dysfunction (OAD) and central auditory processing disorder (APD)
We provide specialist testing and advice for individuals with normal hearing, who present with difficulties hearing speech (particularly in noise).
- Hearing aid service
- Digital hearing aid fittings for patients with hearing impairment
- Bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) at Charing Cross Hospital: Patients who are suitable for this device are offered a full assessment and counselling. This is a type of bone conduction hearing aid that requires a surgical implant
- Vestibular rehabilitation including:
- comprehensive rehabilitation and counselling
- exercise programmes to reduce movement triggers (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo — BPPV) using Cawthorne Cooksey and other exercise programmes
- visual vertigo training using specialist equipment
- Full hearing assessment including pure tone audiometry and tympanometry and electrophysiological investigations
Imperial Private Healthcare
We also offer private patient treatment at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
All funds generated by Imperial Private Healthcare are reinvested in the NHS Trust, and are used to support and enhance both NHS and private clinical services for the benefit of all our patients.
For more information, please visit audiology on the Imperial Private Healthcare website.
We offer work experience, so please contact the department if you are interested. Other work placements are arranged as part of university courses.
We welcome volunteers through Imperial Health Charity. Our volunteers support hearing aid users with maintaining their hearing aids. If you are interested in becoming a hearing loss support volunteer then please contact us.
Further online resources
I visit the audiology department at Charing Cross around twice a year. Each time I encounter friendly and competent staff. They are very helpful and informative. They take their time and are always upbeat. What is also so nice is that the staff come from all over the world! Well done and keep it up!Anonymous
From the appointment to the treatment, I was treated like a person, they were very friendly and helpful. All the staff understood that I was nervous about wearing hearing aids and explained the process and eased my fears about any stigma involved. Great service.Anonymous