A group of volunteers are now working as part of the NHS Forth Valley Audiology Services hearing aid repair service team, assisting with battery exchange and helping with hearing aid maintenance in clinics across Forth Valley.
The volunteers, who are members of RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme) are based in Falkirk Community Hospital, and are often the first point of contact for patients. They talk to patients to check what the problem is and see if it is something they can help with or if the patient has to wait for an audiologist.
Volunteer Organiser William Lindsay was attracted to the role as he wanted to be involved in something practical. He says: "We take patients into the working room and see if we can find out what's wrong. We usually replace the tube and clean the mould, and then check the batteries. We also make sure the mould fits the ear properly and tube is cut tothe correct length."
This initial assessment and the range of smaller jobs that volunteers are trained to deal with can speed up the flow of patients, something that Acting Audiology Services Manager at NHS Forth Valley Jennifer Nicol is keen to support and develop. She explained:"This has benefited many patients by allowing them to attend for hearing aid maintenance closer to their home, and shortens waiting times forclinic appointments."
As well as the technical side of the role William enjoys the positive feedback and interaction with the people he sees. The feedback is very positive. People are delighted withour service and are extremely surprised that we do it for free!
Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 01786 475800
NHS Forth Valley
Castle Business Park
t - 01786 463031