Place Category: Health & Social Care
We are an NHS Audiology Service that utilised the Government Right to Request scheme to spin out as a Social Enterprise.
Our organisational form is a Community Interest Company (CIC). This means that any surplus that we make in terms of funds we have to invest back for the benefit of our social aims – in our case this is service to hearing impaired patients. We have a contract to offer NHS adult and children’s audiology services, free at the point of delivery on behalf of NHS Devon, in Exeter Mid & East Devon.
There is a current initiative called Any Qualified Provider that is opening up adult community hearing aid services to other providers as well as the traditional NHS providers. Chime are considering replicating our service in other geographical areas as we believe we have an excellent model based upon the best of existing NHS services and we want that to thrive and be accessible to NHS patients.
Chime take referrals for hearing tests with adults and children of any age, discuss the results and agree a way forward with our clients. If hearing aid amplification is an option then we can provide this too as an NHS service. If hearing therapy, balance work or tinnitus services are required we can accept NHS referrals for these issues too and refer on to the correct part of the service where this becomes obvious.
We are happy to talk to patients, referrers and commissioners of any aspect of audiological service and how we might be able to help. This can be NHS work but we can be flexible in who we work with or how in fulfilling our social aims.
We have recently opened a shop in the harlequin Centre in Exeter where we can see patients for NHS hearing aids and devices that link with them, or the purchase of commercial instrumentation.
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Hearing and balance care to adults and children
This includes hearing aid care, auditory processing disorder, hearing therapy, tinnitus and balance services. Our patients span the whole life course from the new-born to the elderly. We have had in excess of 50,000 episodes of hearing care in the last year.
2) Patient outcomes
We measure patient stipulated outcomes for each hearing aid fit where the patient judges success (or not) against their own specific scenarios for hearing aid benefit. We collect responses from patients about their experience on attending and they vote in a bespoke result board - from WOW through to POOR. We also collect patient thank you letters and these are published on our website. Furthermore we operate a quarterly questionnaire with results published in our waiting area and website. We have also commissioned our first social impact report - data has been collected for this and we are awaiting publication.
3) A service second to none
- The best hearing aids on the NHS - complex and cosmetic (manufacturers tell us more so than any other service.)
- The highest appointment encounter times
- National traction in demonstrating the success of the model with commissioners.