Virgin Care shortlisted for HSJ award

A project to provide local volunteer support to hearing aid users in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) and Wiltshire has been shortlisted in the ‘supported self-care’ category of the HSJ Awards 2017.

The judges of the supported self-care category are looking for projects that “are helping people with long term conditions to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to improve their own health.” 

The Hearing Therapy service worked with locally recruited volunteers and the community audiology services in B&NES, Wiltshire and Somerset to set up the project as a result of feedback from hearing aid users in the wide rural area who couldn’t access instant support for small problems or had to travel long distances for appointments.

They supported their volunteers to set up ten ‘drop in’ locations following the success of home visits by volunteers in these areas. At each session trained volunteers provided emotional support to help hearing aid users to adjust to hearing loss as well as providing practical advice on hearing aid maintenance. They also carry out numerous minor repairs to avoid longer trips back to the hospital where the hearing aids were originally fitted.

Last year more than 2,600 patients received support and advice and 5,371 hearing aids were repaired.

Jayne Carroll, South West Regional Operations Director at Virgin Care, said, “This is an excellent example of providing supported self-care. To be shortlisted for this award is a well-deserved recognition of the dedication and hard work of colleagues and volunteers across the region.”

HSJ editor, Alastair McLellan, said, “Entrants to the 36th HSJ Awards clearly demonstrated outstanding practice and innovation which helped to safeguard and improve patient care… The awards received more than 1,500 entries and competition to be shortlisted has once again been fierce. Congratulations to all that have made the grade.”

Members of the hearing therapy team will go before a panel of judges next month to give presentations and be interviewed. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 22 November at the Intercontinental O2 in London.

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