Hearing aid service

Audiology

We provide a comprehensive hearing aid service including several specialist clinics, seeing patients through each stage of their treatment from the initial assessment of hearing status to the hearing aid fitting and follow-up care

We mainly fit the latest digital 'behind-the-ear' hearing aids. Specialist devices such as CROS/ BiCROS hearing aids and 'in-the-ear' hearing aids can be provided if there is a medical reason to do so.

We work mainly from Addenbrooke’s Hospital with peripheral clinics also held at Newmarket Community Hospital, Saffron Walden Community Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely.

All enquiries or requests to be seen at a peripheral clinic should be made to via us.

Home service

If you are totally housebound you may be eligible to be visited at home or in your nursing home for their hearing aid appointments. Contact us in the first instance with any enquiries regarding this service.

What to expect at your appointment

Hearing assessment

  • A typical hearing assessment lasts up to 1 hour.
  • The audiologist will take a detailed history from you, recording your hearing difficulties and lifestyle.
  • A hearing test will be performed where you wear some earphones and listen to sounds at different tones and levels.
  • You will be asked to indicate if you have heard the tones by pressing a button.
  • You may also have a test to check how well you can hear spoken words by simply repeating short words spoken at different levels.
  • The results of your hearing tests will be used by the audiologist to help you decide what the best treatment option for the particular hearing difficulties you have.

If you require a hearing aid we might take some impressions of you ear(s) to make an ear mould, although some people with mild hearing loss may be able to use a soft open ear piece called an open fitting that doesn’t require an ear mould.

We will then arrange an appointment to have the hearing aid(s) fitted.

Hearing aid fitting

  • A hearing aid fitting appointment takes approximately 1 hour.
  • The audiologist will check the fit of your ear mould (or open fitting) and ensure that it is comfortable.
  • We then make several recordings of the hearing aid to ensure that it is working to the correct levels for your hearing loss and that you are happy with the way the hearing aid sounds.
  • The audiologist will show you how the hearing aid works and how to look after it.

At the fitting appointment you will be given several leaflets which contain all the information you need to help you look after your hearing aid and where you can get support if you are having problems.

If appropriate the audiologist will arrange for a follow up appointment to check how you are getting on with your new hearing aid.

Referrals

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 for a hearing assessment. This will either be carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital or possibly a different location dependent on your eligibility.

In some cases your GP may refer you to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) clinic for a medical opinion before you can be assessed for a hearing aid. The ENT clinic will then refer you to the Audiology Department if appropriate.

If you are already an Audiology patient at Addenbrooke's and you feel your hearing has worsened you should contact the Audiology Department directly by telephone or letter and a reassessment appointment can be made if appropriate.

Looking after your hearing aid

At your hearing aid fitting you will have been given an instruction leaflet for your hearing aid. This explains how to:

  • switch the hearing aid on and off
  • change batteries
  • operate the controls

If the hearing aid needs repairing you can:

Attend one of our open access repair sessions at Addenbrooke's

This service operates on a ticketing system - you do not need to make an appointment, simply ask the receptionist for a repair number. The days and times of these open access clinics are also written on the back of your brown hearing aid record book.

Monday mornings

0900 to 1200

Tuesday afternoons

1330 to 1700

Wednesday mornings

0900 to 1200

Thursday afternoons

1330 to 1700

Friday mornings

0900 to 1200

You will be seen in turn through a numbering system and numbers will not be given out in advance of the appointed start time. The clinics are sometimes quite busy, particularly at the start of the afternoon sessions and sometimes you may be seen more quickly by arriving later in the afternoon. If you arrive during the appointed time you will be attended to and audiologists will always try and keep waits to a minimum.  If at any time you are unable to wait you can leave your hearing aid to be repaired and we will post it out to you.

Send the hearing aid for repair by post

If you post us your hearing aid we will repair it for you and post it back; however in some cases such as a broken ear mould you will still be required to attend the clinic and see an audiologist. To help us repair your hearing aid as quickly as possible please post us the hearing aid in its box (or well packaged), your brown hearing aid record book, a note to say what is wrong and a return stamped addressed envelope (including large letter stamp).

Attend one of the local open access repair sessions in the community

Hearing help sessions are run in the community by volunteers from local charities. These sessions may be closer to your home or easier to access than Addenbrooke's. Like the Addenbrooke’s open access repair sessions you do not need to make an appointment unless otherwise stated. At these sessions the volunteers are able to exchange hearing aid batteries and retube earmoulds, but they are unable to repair faulty hearing aids. If you think you have a faulty hearing aid or your problem is more complex then please visit the open access repair sessions at Addenbrooke's or contact Audiology for further advice.” Details of the dates and times of the hearing help sessions are available from the charities that run the sessions. 

Cambridgeshire Hearing Help
01223 416141

A.D.A.P.T (A Deaf And ParTially hearing support scheme)
01440 704509 

Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service
01707 324582 

Hearing Help Essex
01245 496347

Batteries can be exchanged by post or in the audiology department. The local help sessions can also provide hearing aid batteries.

It is important that you bring your brown hearing aid record book when requesting batteries so that we can update your record. A friend or relative may collect batteries on your behalf if they have the record book. If you bring your old used hearing aid batteries to the Addenbrooke’s audiology department we will recycle them for you. 

Lost or damaged hearing aids and earmoulds

Your hearing aid is a valuable and delicate instrument, please treat it with the utmost care. NHS hearing aids and earmoulds are provided on loan to people with a hearing impairment and remain NHS property.

If your hearing aid or ear mould is lost or damaged, please contact the audiology department. You may be charged to replace the lost or damaged hearing aid. The lost/damaged aid panel will decide if you will be charged, as you may be exempt. There is a standard fee of £65 per aid.

You have the right to appeal against any possible charge. Appeals must be made in writing, to the appeals committee, via the Head of Audiology, or verbally via the PALS office, who will make a record of the appeal and forward it by e-mail to the Head of Audiology.

The following minimum information is required for the appeals committee to consider each case;

  • The circumstance of the loss.
  • The age of the hearing aid.
  • The number of previous lost hearing aids.

The panel will write informing you of their decision. If the decision is made to apply the charge, you will receive an invoice from the Trust's invoicing department.

Address for appeal letters:

Audiology
Box 94
Addenbrooke’s Hospital
Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ

Cambridge Adult Hearing Services (CAHS) (patients over 50)

Patients over 50 years of age with straightforward age-related hearing loss are suitable for the CAHS service. They will not be seen by Addenbrooke’s but will instead be seen by another provider, currently Specsavers. They can expect the same high quality service regardless of where they are seen. People who do not meet the referral criteria or those with specialist hearing needs will continue to attend Addenbrooke’s Hospital. If you are unsure whether you should be seen by CAHS or Addenbrooke’s, please phone Addenbrooke’s Audiology department for advice.