The audiology team from Specsavers in Stratford upon Avon have been busy supporting those with hearing issues during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This week marks Deaf Awareness Week (4-10 May) a unique campaign which different organisations participate in, each to promote their own work within the broad spectrum of deafness. Over the last month, Specsavers on Wood Street has helped with a range of hearing-related issues, from home deliveries of hearing aid batteries to providing replacement hearing aids.
Helping with hearing aids
One customer, who was particularly grateful, was Mrs Robinson, whose husband Dennis was poorly in hospital and had lost his hearing aids. ‘I rang Specsavers and told them what had happened – two days later, on Sunday morning, they had made and brought me a replacement pair of hearing aids for him. It was such an efficient service and I’m so very grateful to the team there.’
Dedicated to deliveries
Another customer quick to thank the Specsavers team was Mrs Parsons, who was delighted to receive a quick delivery of hearing aid batteries, ‘what a brilliant system and thanks so much,’ she commented.
A word from one of the store’s audiologists
‘Lockdown itself can be a very lonely experience – we know that almost a third of over 65s are feeling lonely at this time,’ said Specsavers Stratford upon Avon audiologist, Andrew Woodcock. ‘And, for those who have hearing issues, this feeling can be especially apparent, as they struggle to keep in touch with loved ones. It can be easy to forget or downplay the impact hearing has on everyday circumstances, let alone during these challenging situations. We’re keen to ensure that those particularly vulnerable members of our community are supported at this time.’
Open for care
Specsavers' teams are classed as key workers to provide urgent and essential eye care to those who need it. That includes supporting other key workers who couldn’t function without their help and people who would come to harm without their health expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.
In a UK first, Specsavers has also launched a free nationwide sight and hearing consultation service offering access to vital advice and care from optometrists and audiologists, via video and telephone link. The service, called Specsavers RemoteCare, is designed to cover concerns ranging from eye health and changes in the quality of sight, to contact lens aftercare and audiology health and aftercare.
Developed in line with NHS recommendations on remote consultation, the new service is open to everyone, whether or not they are currently a Specsavers customer, and can be accessed securely from any digital device. If a customer is unable to use video, they will be able to get expert advice over the phone.
As well as RemoteCare, anyone concerned about their eye and hearing health can access care through a variety of ways, including ‘Specsavers Ask the Expert’ public group on Facebook and the Specsavers website care hub. Customers who have an existing prescription can buy glasses and contact lenses online at specsavers.co.uk