"Can't get more than 2 packets of hearing aid batteries"

About: Cobham Health Centre

(as the patient),

Visited Cobham Health Centre to get a box of batteries to replace the used ones, for my high powered digital hearing aids. This is the normal procedure and has been done for over 20 years plus.

I was refused and told I was only allowed 2 packets, 12 batteries in total, because this is the rule now. I was very stressed as my hearing aids are my life line.

I live a 40 minute walk from the Health Centre. I often change my batteries 3 times a week (6 batteries) if I am in a very noisy environment. I was very angry and extremely worried, this is only the 2nd time this has happened to me. The last time it did, the hospital I attend in London told them that as the batteries were so high powered it was essential that I always have enough.

I work in London and leave home at 7.40 and don't get home till after 7pm. The assistant told me to go back to them when the 2 packets were finished. I explained that this is impossible as I work in London. He then said that I should get my parents or a friend to do this for me.

I am trying extremely hard to cope with my disability and be independent but this situation would become impossible for me if I cannot hear because my batteries have run out. He said I could drop 'the brown book' through their letter box and they would post the batteries to me. This is impossible when I am working in London.

I was so stressed and in tears that I texted my parents for help. They went to the health centre to try and sort out the problem in case there was a misunderstanding. Finally we waited & saw a manager who said she had been told by her boss that the Cobham Centre were not allowed to give out more packets. They kept stating that they can't give me any more packets.

I think can't means won't and that the elderly are quite happy doing this. I feel this is discrimination. My mother tried to phone the number that the manager gave, but it was an answerphone and no one returned the call.

I am unable to use the phone to communicate. I am desperate for this problem to be sorted so that I have sufficient batteries.

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Response from Tessa Berry, Community and Patient Involvement Co-ordinator , Communications, Central Surrey Health We have made a change

Thank you for your posting Lola 8.

I believe that you have had further contact with the health centre, and they have reviewed how they issue batteries to you, allowing for the fact that you can’t easily pick up new packs. OUr administration manager that covers this site (and manages reception staff) has put appropriate steps in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to you again.

I am sorry that you had a negative response at the health centre and hope that you don’t experience this again with any of our staff.

With kind regards

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