News & Info

Support service for the hard-of-hearing launched in West Essex

HHAS has launched a free service for people with hearing loss in West Essex, which allows people to get help with their hearing aid at a local GP surgery.

Philip Linnegar, the chief executive of the Hearing Advisory Service with Emiliana Jesus, Audiology Technical Officer at the Audiology Department in St Margaret's Hospital, Epping

The West Essex Hearing Advisory Service (West Essex HAS) regularly visits eight GP surgeries in Epping, Harlow, North Weald, Theydon Bois and Waltham Abbey, as well as a day centre in Sawbridgeworth.

People can use the service even if they are not a patient at the GP surgery, and do not need to book an appointment.

The drop-in service provides advice and support to people affected by hearing loss, as well as basic hearing aid maintenance and new batteries. Philip Linnegar, the chief executive of HHAS, which runs the West Essex HAS, said he was delighted to launch this new service to help the hard of hearing in the area.

"We're very excited to launch this service, which will offer vital support to NHS hearing aid users and their carers," said Philip.

"So many people stop using their hearing aid due to basic issues such as the tube being blocked or being out of batteries. This free service will enable people to get their hearing aid retubed, new batteries or advice on getting the best out of their hearing aid without needing to travel to their local audiology department."

Epping Forest District Councillor Janet Whitehouse said: "I am very pleased that the Hearing Advice Service will be available to residents in Epping and the surrounding area. Many people who have hearing aids need advice to maintain them and use them in the best way and this will now be more accessible."

The West Essex HAS, which is staffed by the charity's hearing advisor Bob McDonald, has been running as a pilot since summer 2012. The charity is now launching it as a permanent service due to the demand it has experienced.

"With one in six people in the UK experiencing hearing loss, there is a lot of demand for such a service," said Philip. "There is no similar service in the area and we've had lots of people attending the sessions we've been running so far. We hope to reach out to many more now that we're launching it as a permanent service. "

The West Essex HAS is funded by the Charles French Charitable Trust and the West Essex Sunday Charity Cup, and is supported by the Audiology Department at St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping.

To find out more about the West Essex HAS, visit the West Essex Hearing Advisory Service page or contact the charity on 01707 324 582.