Staff in our Audiology Department have been working hard to find solutions to reduce waiting lists and patients are now seen at a one stop open access clinic for all existing hearing aid users. This has meant most procedures, as well as three yearly reassessments, can be carried out without the need to come back for a further appointment.
Just over a year ago patients, many of whom are elderly, had to make repeated journeys to have difficulties resolved. To manage this, a waiting list had been developed, which led to some patients having to wait over a year for all hearing aid work to be completed.
Since the start of the new approach there are no patients on a waiting list for reassessments. This has resulted in less administrative work and phone calls to the department, and allows staff to develop skills elsewhere in the service.
NHS Forth Valley Audiology Services Manager Jennifer Pow said: “The one stop clinics are available both in Stirling and Falkirk and the new way of working is giving patients a much better deal. At one stage we had more than 1,000 people on a waiting list for hearing aid re-assessments and our staff have worked hard to come up with an effective solution. Our Falkirk clinic is only open for three days a week so people may have to wait a little longer to be seen, due to the numbers who turn up. However we hope to address this over the next few months and will continue to review arrangements regularly.”
Before the redesign was introduced, patients were consulted, and another patient satisfaction questionnaire will be repeated this summer to identify any additional actions required.