Our Audiology service treats patient’s hearing and balance, with a particular focus on diagnostic testing and the rehabilitation of hearing-impaired individuals.
What hearing aid services are provided?
The Audiology Department provides a full hearing aid service, from the initial assessment of hearing status to the fitting and follow-up care of the patient and their hearing aid.
The hearing-aid repair service is only available through appointment. There is no drop-in service at Tunbridge Wells Hospital for batteries, re-tubing or repairs. There is a drop-in service at Maidstone Hospital for batteries only.
What sorts of aids are provided?
The department provides mostly ‘behind the ear’ hearing aids, although ‘in the ear’ hearing aids can be provided if there is a medical reason to do so.
How can I get a hearing aid?
If you would like to be assessed for a hearing aid and do not already have one, visit your general practitioner (GP) who can refer you by one of two routes:
- Direct referral to Audiology – for patients who fulfil specific criteria. In Audiology, they will have their hearing tested and a hearing aid can be provided if it is appropriate.
- Referral to Audiology via the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department for patients who do not fulfil the criteria for direct referral to Audiology. Their GP will need to refer them to the ENT clinic for a medical opinion before they can be assessed for a hearing aid. The ENT clinic will then refer the patient to the Audiology Department.
What can I do if I have lost my hearing aid, it is loose or I have other problems with it?
If a patient has lost a hearing aid (there is a charge per aid starting from £60); the hearing aid is loose (eg a new ear mould is required); they think their hearing might have further deteriorated; or they have other problems with the aid, please contact the Audiology Department directly by telephone or letter and a reassessment appointment can be made, if appropriate.
What can I do if I need hearing aid batteries or my hearing aid needs repairing?
If you require batteries, please attend a Hi-Kent drop in centre or send your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped address envelope (2 first class stamps) c/o Audiology Department at Maidstone Hospital.
If you require new tubes/re-tubing and is of the standard tubing with moulded ear-piece variety, please attend a Hi-Kent drop in centre. Or we can send you tubing through the post – please send us your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped address envelope (2 first class stamps).
If your hearing aid requires the new slim “open” or “life-fit” tubing, please send in your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped address envelope (2 first class stamps).
Only send the hearing aid in by post in extreme circumstances – including the patient’s hearing aid record book and a note to say what is wrong. Otherwise an appointment is necessary for a hearing aid repair. You can contact the department to book an appointment to see a Technician. If you have not been seen for two or more years, we may decide you are best served seeing an Audiologist for a reassessment of your hearing and hearing aid instead. You will then be put on a waiting list and sent an appointment within 6 weeks
Can I exchange hearing aid batteries or have ear mould retubes done closer to home?
Yes. Hearing help sessions are run in the community by volunteers from Hi Kent. These clinics are often closer to your home or easier to access than our Trust.
The volunteers are able to exchange hearing aid batteries and retube earmoulds, but are unable to repair faulty hearing aids. If you think you have a faulty hearing aid or your problem is more complex than a battery exchange or earmould retube, pleaes contact the Audiology reception at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS for further advice.
You can contact the Audiology department on telephone 01622 226198, between 8:45am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: the telephone number above receives a high volume of calls, therefore, we ask for your patience and apologise in advance for the delay in answering.