"Dis-satisfied with Audiology"

About: Kidderminster Hospital

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In the past, I have been impressed with KGH and I have rated them very highly. But I am very dis-satisfied with Audiology. In January 2013 I went to have my hearing aid serviced and was told it needed replacing and they suggested July would be a good time. On 13 March 2013 I lost my hearing aid in Stourport - it must have fallen out because it was loose in my ear. I contacted the police (and obtained a lost property number) and the Coop hoping some kind sole had found it. Not so. I contacted Audiology and told them the story and that I had checked with the police, I was told I would have to pay £100 even though it was due to be replaced anyway. Three times I phoned and three times spoke to different people, each said I would have to pay £100. I was not prepared to pay £100 for a hearing aid that was almost 4 years old and needed replacing anyway. So now I have had to go to a private company for a new hearing aid. Today I received an appointment letter from Audiology giving me an appointment for a reassessment of my hearing. No one seems to know what generated this appointment and I know I didn't ask for it. So I phoned again to be told that if I have the police reference number (which I had already told them) I can have a new hearing aid for free. Brilliant! Why didn't they tell me in the first place. But it's too late for me, I have already gone elsewhere but they do need to get their act together.

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Responses

Response from Kidderminster Hospital

I am very sorry to hear of this complaint. If someone loses their hearing aid through theft and have a crime number then we can replace this free of charge. However as the hearing aids are on loan from the government a charge is imposed in other normal loss, misplaced circumstances. Unless the patient has other medical conditions which make them exempt from this charge such as dementia.

We offer a reassessment every three years. We expect to see the patients every six months for servicing to ensure the hearing aid is regularly maintained to a high standard, and in this instance seems not to have been the case, this may have led to the loss.

The charge is imposed as it takes a member of staff time to replace the lost hearing aid and they would otherwise be fitting a new one to someone who is waiting for one. This is a normal occurrence in most hospitals.

I shall ensure the staff are re informed of the procedure.

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