People with learning disabilities are getting help to hear loud and clear through a new service in Sheffield.
Tailored appointments are being offered by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, giving technical support to assist disabled adults use hearing aids properly.
Elaine Pearson, a senior assistant technical officer at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, says she has increased the uptake of hearing aids in patients who would otherwise struggle to use them.
One in three adults with learning disabilities suffer from some form of sensory impairment.
Elaine – given a runner-up prize at the Advancing Healthcare Awards for her work – said: “Hearing aid design uses microchips, computerisation and digitised sound processing.
“We often find that people encounter common problems with everyday use, particularly those who suffer with learning disabilities.
“This dedicated service provides extra support to individuals who may struggle with volume settings and programming, so they can successful use the device to improve their quality of life.
“I feel privileged to have been nominated for a national award recognising the extra mile technicians go to support patients and privileged that more patients with learning difficulties and their carers are being given the correct information in the clearest way possible.”
Research has found that the regular use of hearing aids boosts social interaction and reduces mental health problems among patients with learning disabilities.
The annual Advancing Healthcare Awards celebrate the achievements of medical scientists and technicians throughout the United Kingdom.