March 2009: A hearing loss charity has officially launched a service for people with hearing loss in Bedford and North Bedfordshire, which allows people to get help with their hearing aid at their local GP surgery.
The Bedfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (BHAS) visits 12 GP surgeries across Bedford and North Bedfordshire, as well as Bedford Hospital, every month. People can use the service, even if they are not a patient at the GP surgery.
The free service provides advice and support to people affected by hearing loss, as well as basic hearing aid maintenance and new batteries.
Heather Boyles, who lives in Wootton, used the service for the first time in March to get advice and some maintenance work done on her two hearing aids.
"I think it's an excellent service. It's great that it's near my home and there is such a pleasant atmosphere at the clinic. If this service wasn't available, I would have to travel all the way to Bedford Hospital and pay for parking," said Heather.
BHAS is run by Beth Moore, who worked as a Senior Chief Audiologist in North London before starting work for the charity.
"I can provide advice on all aspects of hearing loss and can do basic maintenance on your hearing aid, such as retubing it," said Beth. "Anyone can access the service - all you need to do is book an appointment with any of the GP surgeries that I visit."
The Bedfordshire Hearing Advisory Service has been funded by Horizon Healthcare, a practice-based commissioning group covering the Bedford area. The service was originally funded by The Bedford Charity (The Harpur Trust).
To find out more about BHAS, click here or contact the charity on 01707 324 582.