Love Your Hospital provides assistive listening aids to patients, visitors and staff across St Richard’s, Worthing, and Southlands Hospitals.

Assistive listening aids are now available to patients, visitors and staff across Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust due to funding from the Trust’s dedicated charity, Love Your Hospital.

Deafness can affect a person’s ability to communicate properly and patients with hearing loss can often feel stressed trying to engage in a healthcare setting. According to research from Action on Hearing Loss, 1 in 6 people in the UK are affected by hearing loss with more than 90% of over 80 years-old experiencing some form of deafness.

Many patients surveyed in hospitals around the UK reported that they did not fully understand what staff were saying to them when accessing healthcare services. A further 43% of patients felt that, as a result, they were not fully involved in decision-making regarding their care. NHS staff also surveyed noted difficulties when speaking to patients suffering from hearing loss.

(Corporate & Community Officer for Love Your Hospital, Kay Phillips presents
John Price from the Worthing PALS team with one of the Duett listening aids)

Amanda Tucker, Head of Charity for Love Your Hospital said: “The charity’s goal is to support funding where there is a clear and direct benefit to the patient and we’re always looking for ways to support the Trust in transforming hospital services for the better. Providing assistive listening aids reduces the frustration felt by patients and staff when communication isn’t as effective as it could be and reduces the possibility of error in interpreting and delivering an individual’s care needs.”

The Trust has been trialling assistive listening aids that would allow staff to effectively and positively communicate with patients. As a result, the new easy to use Duett personal listening aids have been purchased by Love Your Hospital and are available to borrow from the PALS services at both St Richard’s and Worthing Hospitals, with another unit in the Outpatients Department available at Southlands Hospital.

In addition to the Duett personal assistive listening aid, the Trust also has two portable digital loop systems which can be used for training, meetings and other events where participants may have a hearing loss.