Appointment system to replace drop-in sessions for Manx hearing aid patients – BBC News

Patients on the Isle of Man who need help with their hearing aids will soon have to book an appointment, the health department said.

Currently, they can see a specialist at one of three drop-in sessions held at Noble’s Hospital in Braddan each week.

The pre-booked appointment system will be introduced from 2 March.

Head of audiology Stephen Griffiths said the “unpredictable” number of patients attending each drop-in session could lead to “frustrating long waits”.

Weekly drop-in sessions at Southlands in Port Erin and twice weekly sessions at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital will not be affected by the changes.

About 15,000 patients use the island’s NHS audiology service, 8,000 of whom use hearing aids.

Between 200 and 250 patients attend the drop-in clinics at Noble’s Hospital each month to have their devices repaired or adjusted, an increase from between 120 and 150 a decade ago.

Dr Griffiths said: “Demand for device maintenance is growing and as a result we have days when the drop-in clinics are quiet while at other times the waiting room is bursting at the seams.”

The changes would mean a “guaranteed appointment with the audiologist” could be booked.

Feedback from patients using the existing sessions had shown the “overwhelming majority” supported the introduction of appointments, the health department said.

The final drop-in clinic at Noble’s Hospital will be held on 28 February.

Appointments after then can be booked by phone, email or via the Isle of Man Audiology Service’s Facebook page.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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