Commissioning NHS Hearing Services - Promotional Feature

28 March 2012

Hearing loss is a major public health issue affecting more than 10 million people. Find out more about commissioning adult hearing services through the Any Qualified Provider model.

With a network of over 440 Hearing Centres across the UK, Specsavers is your partner of choice to deliver a patient centric community based Audiology service.

Specsavers is a trusted name in healthcare, with more people choosing us for their eyesight and hearing care than any other private provider. We have a proven record of successfully working with the NHS over many years, providing eye tests, diabetic retinal screening, hearing assessments and digital hearing aids to a number of Primary Care Trusts across the UK.

For CCG’s and GPs looking to commission Adult Hearing Services, we can bring hearing care closer to your patients' homes. With appointment times to suit their lifestyle, Specsavers can offer a comprehensive and cost-effective service, with hearing assessments within two weeks of referral, and hearing aids supplied and fitted to NHS patients within five weeks of referral. But it doesn't stop there; our service ensures up to three-years' patient aftercare too.

  • Independent Sector Provider

Specsavers is the UK’s Most Trusted Optician*, carrying out more NHS sight tests each year than any other company. But did you know that Specsavers is also the ‘go to’ audiology specialist when it comes to commissioning adult hearing services?

Since 2006, Specsavers has serviced NHS contracts with leading PCTs and cared for over 100,000 NHS Audiology patient pathways.This figure will continue to rise in 2012, as Specsavers helps even more commissioners to find innovative ways of delivering high quality hearing care.

Local professionals deliver higher standards

The reason for Specsavers’ success lies in the way we run our company. Our Hearing Centres are owned and run by locally based professional hearing aid audiologists. This unique business structure allied with our high clinical standards, professionalism, training programmes and investment in technology – including the latest hearing assessment equipment – mean they can focus on providing the highest standards of professional service and customer care. With over 440 Hearing Centres based within our optical stores, as well as working out of community health centres, hospitals and GP practices, Specsavers can be easily accessed on high streets across the UK.

A trusted service for GPs and their patients

Our dedicated NHS Hearcare Team and local hearing aid audiologists visit GP practices to provide information and advice to GPs and their staff on every aspect of hearing care and the service we provide on behalf of the NHS. In addition, we are always available to discuss patients’ requirements and the progress of their treatment with us – for this reason, our patient help desk offers support 365 days a year. We can also provide patients’ audiograms as required. We recognise that the process of obtaining a hearing aid can be a daunting and stressful one for some people. So we make every effort to ensure patients referred to us are well informed of the choices available to them.  Specsavers is registered on N3 Choose and Book and our continued investment in the NHS infrastructure enables us to provide a user-friendly, patient-centric service. Once a patient has been referred to us, one of our locally-based hearing aid audiologists will discuss the process with them so that they can feel completely confident that they are getting the best hearing care available to them.

Digital hearing for all

Modern digital hearing aids provide significant benefits to the user. All NHS-specified instruments are programmable, which enables us to provide a much more accurate fitting. We believe that patients should be involved in the choice of instrument they receive, to ensure they get the most appropriate NHS-specified model available to them. All assessment, fitting, follow up, service, repairs and aftercare for the life of the hearing aids is completed on a local basis, and with over 440 Hearing Centres up and down the UK, Specsavers is well-placed to provide everyone with a truly local service. In addition to our Hearing Centres, we also provide clinics out of community health centres, hospitals and GP practices which ensures the service is readily accessible to your patients

*Source: Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey 2011.

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  • Provision of services

Methodology

Assessment

Using clinical overview and case history, otoscopy, pure tone audiometry including bone conduction, masking where necessary and loudness discomfort where required to British Society of Audiology (BSA) recommended procedures.

Fitting

Set-up and programming of aids including real ear measurement (REM) as required. Instruction and practice of insertion/fitting. Evaluate perceptions with patient, instruct in care, cleaning, use of features and battery replacement.

Follow-up

Discuss experience and any difficulties. Check use of features. Fine-tune as necessary. REM as required and review Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB).

Aftercare

Ongoing care and equipment maintenance to provide aftercare as required, otoscopy, checking and cleaning aids, listening to aids and checking functions. Re-tubing ear moulds for BTEs and replacing ear buds for open fittings.

Resources and equipment

All equipment to accommodate NHS requirements including REM and data transfer.

Choice

Technology

For maximum patient choice we can offer a BTE, ITE and the latest slim tube and open fit technology hearing aids, all to NHS specification.

Timing

Appointment times  to suit the individual for assessment, fitting and follow-up, followed by aftercare or repairs as required, including weekend and evening provision where appropriate.

Staff

Specsavers NHS adult hearing services are delivered by fully qualified staff; Hearing Aid dispensers, NHS qualified Audiologists and Hearing Care Assistants.

Our Hearing Aid Dispensers are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Independent Safeguard Authority (ISA) and are CRB checked in accordance with NHS standards. Our Hearing Care Assistants are on the member’s register of BSHAA – the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists.

These local professionals know how best to serve their community. Add to this the expertise of the National NHS Services team, and you too can be assured of a first class adult hearing service.

Location

Venues within the community, including our network of over 440 Hearing Centres. In addition, our team provides you with flexibility by completing pathways within medical centres or similar, giving accessibility through a range of venues rather than just fixed provider locations.

Accessibility

Specsavers believes that care should be in the community, offering patients choice of site within your region. To further facilitate patients’ choice, we have installed Choose and Book (N3) in our state-of-the-art Contact Centre in Nottingham.

Waiting time reduction

We will provide a rapid access service to reduce waiting time. Typical patients' pathways will be five weeks from GP Referral to Treatment, with the maximum time from GP referral to assessment being two weeks.

Costs

We work within the AQP  tariff for adult hearing services published by the Department of Health.

Patients Satisfaction Survey

As part of our commitment to delivering a quality service, patients will be asked to complete a satisfaction survey reviewing prior, current and post-appointment processes. This could be provided in addition to the Minimum Data Set (MDS) and any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) prescribed by the commissioner for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Compliance

Professional codes of practice, infection control and incident reporting will be adhered to in line with Standards for Better Health (SfBH) core standards. As part of our continued commitment to maintaining our position as a leading provider to the NHS, we are currently  implementing:
- ISO9001 Quality Management Systems
- ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems
- ISO27001 Information Security Management Systems.

Data Protection

All our data complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and subsequent amendments, in addition to the NHS Code of Confidentiality.

Credibility to Deliver

Specsavers is the largest provider of hearing aids by volume within the UK private sector. We pride ourselves in having a total commitment to professionalism, and delivering a quality service and value for money prices, all of which is reflected in our NHS service provision.

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Audiology request form
To refer a patient to Specsavers, clinicians should download and complete an audiology referral form. Please note – we are unable to accept referrals for patients under 18.

Download audiology request form

Please fax the completed form to 0845 604 5070 (Secure Fax) or return to: Tasso Papadopoulos RHAD, MSHAA, QTS, NHS Hearing Services Manager. NHS email: tasso.papadopoulos@nhs.net

Alternatively, you may wish to download an EMIS or Vision compatible National Standard referral form.
 

  • To find out more

To find out how Specsavers Hearing Centres can meet your AQP requirements:

Call 0800 077 8603 or email nhsservices@specsavers.com

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This is a promotional feature article that has been produced by Specsavers.

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