The adult hearing services is the biggest area of work in terms of the numbers of patients seen, within audiology at South Tees.
The aim of adult hearing (AH) is to provide a full screening, assessment, diagnostic, hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation service for adults with hearing problems.
The AH service wants our patients to feel satisfied, comfortable and have trust in us. We continuously offer our patients the following care:
- Adult hearing – care provision
- Choose and Book direct referral hearing aid clinics at: Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar, Brotton and Northallerton.
- Adult hearing assessments
- Adult hearing aid fittings
- In-house custom ear mould manufacturing laboratory
- Hearing aid repairs
- Diagnostic balance assessments and rehabilitation (described in more detail in another section)
- Hearing and tinnitus therapy services (described in more detail in another section)
- Cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids (described in more detail in another section)
With specially trained staff at 11 audiology clinic sites across our local area, all networked with electronic patient records and prescription data, patients can be fitted at any site and receive follow up care at any of our sites – your choice!
This includes drop in after care services where hearing aids issued by our service can be maintained and checked, in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar, Guisborough, Brotton, Northallerton and Richmond.
Our main audiology clinics are at:
- The James Cook University Hospital
- Friarage Hospital, Northallerton
- University Hospital of North Tees
- Guisborough Primary Care Hospital
- East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital
- Friary Hospital, Richmond
- Lawson Street Health Centre, Stockton
- Bedale Health Centre
Our specially trained staff include:
- Audiologists (BSc)
- Clinical scientists
- Therapists (hearing/tinnitus)
- Laboratory technicians
- Admin support
Hearing aid service
Please be aware that many of the services we offer have been affected by the COVID pandemic with many experiencing delays with referrals. We are now working as hard as we can to catch up. Your patience is greatly appreciated at this difficult time, thank you.
The major activity of the adult hearing service is to test patients for hearing loss and if necessary fit those patients who want them, with a digital hearing aid or in the greater majority of cases, digital hearing aids.
The digital hearing aids we use are behind-the-ear types (BTEs) and can be fitted to a generic thin tube coupler (the piece that delivers the sound from the body of the aid behind your ear into your ear canal) or via a custom made ear-mould made on-site in our ear-mould laboratory. Our lab we believe is unique within the NHS and allows us to keep an eye on quality and the ability to deliver any modifications quickly.
Your audiologist will talk you through and explain whether you require a generic or custom made fitting. Generally, the generic fitting will cater for those patients with a mild to mild/moderate hearing loss whilst the custom made ear-moulds are required for those patients with moderate to profound hearing losses.
As for the body of the BTE aid, we can usually allow the patient to choose a colour. This is usually best chosen to match hair colour or if spectacles are worn, the colour of the arm of the spectacles but again your audiologist will guide you.
In the past we did provide custom in the ear hearing aids (ITEs) as an alternative, but from May 2021, we are no longer providing this type of aiding to new patients. However, legacy patients, those who had this type of aid fitted in the past, can still have them repaired as and when required. Please be aware though that if the ITE aid cannot be repaired or your hearing has worsened significantly you will necessarily be provided with a BTE style aid in the future.
If you feel that your hearing is starting to fail and you would like to access our services, please make an appointment with your GP. All our local GPs are well acquainted with the referral routes into our department and through the Choose and Book scheme you can choose from the wide variety of local sites that we cover.
Once we receive your referral into the department, all of our systems and personnel will try their best to help resolve or improve your hearing problems as efficiently and professionally as we can.