HearWear@RSCH is a private business run by the Royal Surrey County Hospital Audiology department. Established since 2010, we have been providing independent hearing care services to anyone who would like to purchase hearing aids or accessories that are not available on the NHS.
The NHS can provide advanced digital hearing technology at no cost for people with impaired hearing. However the NHS cannot offer a vast range of style choice, the latest premium quality hearing aids, or additional devices for use with hearing instruments. The aim of our private service is to give you access to these things, in a trustworthy, independent environment.
The service is run by audiologists who are employed by the NHS. Our audiologists will be able to advise on what the NHS can and cannot provide, and the differences in NHS and private technology.
Our services include:
You do not need a referral to be seen by us – just simply get in touch using the details below. We see a wide range of clients, from those who have never had a hearing test before, to those who have worn hearing aids for many years. We tailor the process towards you. If you book an assessment with us there is no obligation to purchase and no charge for the appointment. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member along with you.
At the appointment you will be seen by an Audiologist who will discuss the problems you are having with your hearing. Your Audiologist will ask you about how your hearing difficulties affect your day-to-day activities and lifestyle. They may also ask about your general health and any ear related problems which you may have, such as tinnitus (hissing, buzzing or other noises in your ears or head) or problems with your balance.
The Audiologist will examine your ears and will measure your hearing using a technique known as Pure Tone Audiometry. They may also complete other testing as appropriate, for example a test called tympanometry to see how well the middle part of your ear is functioning.
The Audiologist will explain your hearing test results and the options available to you. Together, we can form an Individual Management Plan based around your individual goals and how they may be achieved. If the Audiologist finds any indication that you should have medical investigations into your hearing they will write to your GP or a specialist doctor to let them know.
Based on your hearing test results and your personal choices we will discuss which hearing aids may be appropriate for you. We can explain the differences between the types of hearing aids, and show you demonstration models so you know what to expect. There can be a lot of choice so we will use our expertise to guide you through the process of choosing and help by recommending hearing aids that may be most appropriate for you.
If you decide to purchase hearing instruments privately we will order them for you and arrange an appointment for them to be fitted; usually around two weeks later. You will not need to pay for them until the fitting appointment.
At this appointment, your new instruments will be set to your personal prescription using the manufacturers recommended method. Often we use a process called Rear Ear Measurement (REM) or in-situ audiometry. This ensures that the settings are specific to the results of your hearing test and also to the size and shape of your ear canal. Using techniques like this allows you to get the most benefit possible from your hearing aids, and is especially important when purchasing advanced and premium hearing aids.
We will explain how to use and care for your new instruments so you feel confident with them. You will take them away on the day and then have a minimum of 30 days to trial them.
All future appointments are included in the initial cost of your hearing aids.
You will be offered a follow-up appointment to take place within your 30 day trial period. This appointment is tailored to your needs. We will discuss how much you are using your instruments and any difficulties that you may have found when listening in specific situations. We will ensure that you are managing your instruments well and understand how to use them and maintain them. We are happy to see you as many times as needed to help you to adapt to wearing your new hearing instruments.
At this initial follow-up you will have the option to return the hearing aids for a full refund if you do not wish to continue with them, but we hope that you will be delighted with your new hearing aids and chose to keep them.
We then offer you an annual review appointment to check your hearing and hearing aids, and make any adjustments as necessary. At any time you can get in touch with us to make an appointment or ask for advice should you have any problems with your hearing aids.
How to Chose the Right Hearing Aids for You
Several factors make up what is the correct decision on hearing aid style for you, including hearing loss, ear canal shape and, of course, your personal preference. The selection process can be tailored to suit a range of different budgets.
All our hearing aids are available in a range of technology levels, from standard to premium. We can advise you on which level is required for your specific hearing needs.
As an independent practice we are not tied to a contract with certain hearing aid manufacturers. We supply hearing aids from several manufacturers, with a variety of styles and technology levels. This means that you can choose from a wider range of hearing aids – we will advise you to choose the right one to suit you, not the best aid for business! Our staff are here to support you towards the right hearing aid choice for you, even if that means recommending NHS and not private aids.
By gaining a good understanding of what is important you we will use our expertise you help guide your selection process. Demonstration hearing aids and models will be available for you to see.
Types of Hearing Aids
IIC (Invisible in Canal)
IIC is more than just a tiny hearing aid. It is the perfect combination of maximum hearing performance and minimum size. It is custom crafted to fit entirely in your ear canal, using computer-aided design and the latest generation of advanced materials. Wearing comfort is great while consistently delivering outstanding sound quality, with minimum visibility.
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) Hearing Aid
These devices fit completely in the canal (CIC). Only the head of a tiny plastic line with which you insert or remove the instrument shows above the canal. Although CIC instruments offer aesthetic appeal, the structure of some individuals’ ears (e.g. those with a very narrow canal) may make this style unsuitable for them.
In-the-canal (ITC) Hearing Aid
In-the-canal (ITC) instruments are smaller still, featuring an earmould that fits down in to the ear canal and a smaller portion that faces out into the outer ear. They are discreet, yet partially visible within the outer ear and accommodate a mild to mildly severe hearing loss.
In-the-ear instruments house their technology components in a custom-formed earmould that fits within the outer portion of the ear. ITE’s are appropriate for wearers with a mild to severe hearing loss and feature easy-to-use controls which are ideal for those with limited manual dexterity
Receiver In The Ear (RITE) Hearing Aid
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids include a unit behind the ear and a receiver wire with loudspeaker on the tip, which is often covered by a small dome or earpiece to fit comfortably in to the ear. By placing the loudspeaker closer to the ear drum (compared to a behind the ear hearing aid) the unit behind the ear can be made smaller and often the sound quality improved.
Behind The Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid
BTE instruments rest behind the ear and house the device’s technology. A clear plastic tube then directs amplified sound into an earmould inside the ear canal. Behind-the-ear instruments are often the most durable hearing devices. Compared to smaller, in-the-ear instruments, they hold more circuitry and offer greater amplification.
Hearing aid prices and what’s included
Hearing aids come in a wide range of prices and the price will depend on your specific criteria and choices. We can tailor the assessment process to suit any budget. If you would like further advice about the cost of private hearing aids then do get in touch.
Included in the price of your hearing aids
Telephone or Text: 07717 694460 (please leave a message if not answered).
Royal Surrey County Hospital