Top Tips for Referring to Locally Qualified Providers (LQP) of Adult Hearing Aid Services
The Local providers are:
- Specsavers PLC (accept adults from 18 years)
- Scrivens Hearing Centres Ltd (accept adults from 18 years)
- InHealth Ltd (accept adults from 16 years)
- Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (accept adults from 16 years)
- The Outside Clinic (house bound only)
Specific locations are all on ERS.
- Full audiometry assessment by a qualified audiologist with fitting of necessary device(s) to:
- meet the patient’s clinical need within 6 weeks of initial referral;
- Domiciliary assessment and care for housebound patients – criteria applies;
- After care and maintenance for a minimum of 3 years from acceptance into the service, including:
- Urgent repair service; Supply and fitting of batteries (instore and where necessary supply of batteries by post); replacement of tubing, cleaning wires, ear wax self-care advice
They do not provide:
- An emergency service;
- Ear wax removal – patients requiring micro-suctioning should be referred to the West Hampshire Community ENT service;
- Complex audiometry – patients with non-routine presentation of hearing loss should be referred to the West Hampshire Community ENT service;
- Maintenance for privately bought hearing aids under an NHS pathway.
Patients seeking advice about hearing loss symptoms should first be seen and assessed in the practice for:
- Ear wax – in most cases this can either be treated in the practice or treated through self-care measures before referral to an LQP.
- Guidelines on ear wax self-care can be found: https://www.wessexlmcs.com/earcare. Useful information can also be found on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/earwax-build-up/
- If impacted ear wax or self-care measures have failed to resolve, these patients should be referred to the West Hampshire Community ENT service for appropriate ear wax clearance.
- Contraindications – any of the conditions or concerns listed on the referrals form i.e. fluctuating hearing loss, ear pain, discharge within 90 days – see referral form
- Commitment – to wearing hearing aids if provided – patients should be informed for benefit hearing aids need to be worn all the time and not just for special occasions to be of benefit.
- Previous referral to and AQP/LQP – once referred patients should normally remain with their chosen provider for a minimum of 3 years.
Make sure your patient knows that LQPs…
- Are high quality independent providers of a NHS service which meets the NHS service standards;
- Working environment is not the same as a hospital clinic;
- Will register patients under their care for a minimum of 3 years.
- To wear and care for the device as instructed; hearing aids take time to get used to with regular wear – the brain has to adjust to altered sound.
- To address concerns with the audiologist or branch manager (support is available from the Patient Experience Team at the CCG).
Referrals generated by the provider should not be routinely accepted. The commissioned pathway is for the referral to only be generated by the GP (or delegate responsibility within the practice team) or from the Community ENT Service. It is anticipated that referrals are only made after a GP/clinician and patient discussion into the patient’s needs and choice of appropriate provider.
Patients previously seen and treated at one of the UHS or Salisbury Audiology clinics should automatically be given information about the need to change provider. The patient should then choose where they want to go and contract their choice of provider direct through the central contract number:
- InHealth Ltd – General Patient Line: 0333 202 0298
- Scrivens Hearing Centres Ltd – General Patient Line: 0800 085 0372 / 0800 027 5102
- Specsavers Ltd – General Patient Line: 0800 0234 681
- Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust: General Patient Line: 01962 824437
- The Outside Clinic – Domiciliary Only. This service is for patients who are housebound. General Patient Line: 0800 954 90 93
GPs and practice teams should NOT need to make a new referral unless the patient has not been seen by UHS or SFT in the last 3 years