Specsavers Walton on Thames located in the High Street, had its Hearcare Service officially opened on Saturday 18 January by the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Mary Sheldon.
Councillor Sheldon was met by Specsavers audiology director, Laura Smith, Mital Patel, ophthalmic director and Conor MacCarthy, retail partner for a tour of the store and the audiology centre, which offers a range of hearing tests. Options include a 3-minute hearing screener test, used to identify that the hearing is within the acceptable range, and a full one-hour hearing test which produces a very accurate audiogram, to then potentially dispense a hearing aid. The store offers a wide selection of hearing aids, a dedicated aftercare service and from March will offer a private micro suction service to customers.
State-of-the-art audiology centre
The newly installed, £80,000 dedicated audiology centre, with its state-of-the-art test room, equipped with the latest soundproof technology and clinical equipment for audiology services offers hearing tests five days a week (Tuesday through to Saturday). Specsavers are keen to screen those customers aged over 50 for hearing and to encourage customers to book in for a regular hearing test as they would an eye test, and to view it as being part of a regular health check. Indeed for those over 55 an annual test is recommended.
To fully experience the audiology services available to customers, Councillor Sheldon had a 15-minute hearing test, within the soundproof booth, which was a first for her. The results of the test, which were recorded on an audiogram, were then discussed, with Ms Smith explaining the chart and making general recommendations for on-going ear care.
Hearing dogs supporting people with hearing loss
In support of the audiology launch, the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity were on hand with Labrador Watson, a fully accredited Hearing Dog and his deaf partner George to answer any questions about the charity. The charity trains puppies to alert people who are deaf to important and life-saving sounds that they might otherwise miss, such as a doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals such as a fire alarm. The charity also helps deaf people to reconnect with life and leave loneliness behind, as life without sound can be very isolating.
High standard of clinical testing in-store
Laura Smith, audiology director said: ‘We were thrilled that the Mayor and her Consort were able to attend the launch and officially open the audiology service. The Mayor found the hearing test to be really useful and insightful.’
Ms Smith went on to say: ‘Also having the support of the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity in-store helped to raise awareness of hearing and the support services that are available to people with hearing loss. We were delighted that Watson and George were able to visit us on such an important occasion. We are proud to offer our customers a high standard of clinical testing in our newly installed audiology centre.’
Specsavers Walton on Thames, optometrist and director Mital Patel said: ‘Specsavers Walton on Thames is dedicated to looking after the local community’s optical health, so we are very excited to be able to offer these new audiology services as well and to welcome both current and new customers to our Walton store. We are also delighted to introduce our new clinical audiology director Laura Smith.’