IDA Institute blog

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The Nottingham Hearing Practice is Inspired by Ida

The Nottingham Hearing Practice is Inspired by Ida

FRI SEP 28, 2018 10:36 AMBy Ellen Pucke

The Nottingham Hearing Practice in Nottingham, England is the newest clinic to earn the Inspired by Ida label for person-centered care. Inspired by Ida is a program that guides both hearing care professionals and front desk staff in the fundamentals of person-centered care (PCC) and provides coaching for implementing PCC in their work via tools developed by the Ida Institute. Successful completion of the coursework and pledging a commitment to PCC principles earns clinics the Inspired by Ida label, a benchmark of quality in person-centered care.

We checked in with Jo Herrod, Co-Director and Audiologist to learn more about the Nottingham Hearing Practice’s philosophy and what earning the Inspired by Ida label means to them.

Why was it important to you that your clinic become Inspired?

We are a newly established partnership of two accomplished audiologists bringing more than 50 years of combined experience from the public and private sectors to the clinic. We share with the Ida Institute the same passion for delivering the best possible outcome for clients and we will always take on board any service, training, and new ideas that can help us maintain and improve upon our ethos.

As seasoned professionals, what did you take away from completing the Inspired by Ida program?

We have a significant dedication to our practices and we have both finely honed our patient experience over many years. Having done the Inspired by Ida courses we realize that a lot of what we do naturally echoes much of Ida’s principles. However, one never stops learning and it is easy to become complacent, hence us sharpening our skills through the Inspired by Ida program.

How would you define person-centered care?

Person-centered care means that the client in question is at the heart of whatever we do, to enable us to deliver the best possible outcome now and for their future care.

What does person-centered care mean to your clients?

I think if you asked a client “what is person-centered care?” they would have a good guess, but not recognize its importance in the work we do.

We try to convey with our marketing materials and website that they are the most important thing about what we do, and that we strive for the best possible result for them and their family. If that means putting off going down the hearing aid route for another year or so, then that is the advice we give them. Clients have been surprised when we have not “tried to sell them a hearing aid”, but this only leads to greater trust in us as a private company and sets us apart from other local providers.

The Inspired by Ida label of quality is all a part of how we demonstrate who we are to our community.

Visit our Inspired by Ida page to learn how you can join the program and earn the label as a clinic or visit our Learning Hall to earn Ida badges as an individual practitioner.

Oticon 2018 Conference

By | Company, News, Technical

We all attended this annual event last week. It was held at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Of the more interesting talks, outlined by The Centre for Applied Audiology Research (CAAR) was that hearing loss was the main cause of preventable dementia, and also a new user of the Oticon Opn, EDWINA CURRIE spoke eloquently on how these devices were professionally fitted by an independent audiologist and how much they have helped her in her career and social life.

Making connections in our community

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Today Jo had a visit from Laura Turton, Adult Audiology Manager at the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Laura, was previously employed as the Operations Manager for the British Society of Audiology and is a former student of Jo’s from her NHS days.

The meeting was essentially to discuss the integrating of a private service within the Warwickshire NHS department.

Laura wanted to see how we ran our clinics here, and what we aim to offer over and above what can be provided within an NHS setting. This included the extensive range of testing and evaluating hearing aid benefit as well as talking about different products and accessories. The little extra touches such as the chandelier in the toilet and the frozen lemon slices in her drink didn’t go unnoticed too!

Jo also gleaned a lot of helpful information from Laura, particularly regarding outcome measures and different types of speech discrimination assessments.

Thanks for coming today Laura, we hope you found it useful too!

Alan H Jackson

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“Entering the Profession in 2004 I was trained via a leading private audiology company whom had their own state of the art residential training facility in Buxton, Derbyshire. Coming from a senior management role within one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains I instantly knew I had made the right decision to change into a profession that still centred around the customer/patient but which offered a great degree of medical and technical skills to be learned.

After qualification I soon gained a reputation as someone who wanted to do things “right” and with a natural attention to detail I was promptly promoted to lead a team of audiologists. Being responsible for audits, training needs and any required support gave me an invaluable level of experience I am grateful for to this day. It is in these very early years I embraced the fact that audiology is not and never will be an exact science, a phrase I still stand by many years later.

Some years later I decided to try my hand with a large national High street chain and although being surprised at the sheer volume of patients I saw on a daily basis I still managed to achieve a high level of care and respect and was soon promoted to the Senior Audiologist position within the company’s flagship store. Some eight years later after witnessing much change, facing increasing patient numbers and demands on time coupled with the imposition of a target based system I knew it was time for change.

Over the years I had often wondered what it may be like to work as an independent audiologist  and decided to contact an old friend and colleague whom was not only responsible for much of what I learned “on the job” at the start of my career in audiology but whom had also set up a successful independent practice in Cleckheaton, W Yorks over a decade ago. Once the wheels were in motion we quickly picked up traction and before we knew it the ‘Nottingham Hearing Practice’ was born. It was some time after this that I bumped into Jo whom expressed some interest into my current situation and before we knew a great partnership was formed.

Having worked extensively with Jo at both of my previous 2 employers I knew her experience, skills, manner and empathy could only add to a great collaboration of independence. Being able to offer the time, experience, skill and access to all available manufacturers portfolios can only lead to a more positive outcome for our patients.

Alan H Jackson

Meet Alan

Robert Donnan

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“I have been fortunate in life to find something that I love to do and am very grateful that I have been able to help so many people to hear better over the last 24 years.
I have a zest for life and enjoy utilising that enthusiasm to motivate my patients to wear hearing aids. It’s incredibly rewarding to help people to hear well. Not only does that individual benefit, but often so do family and friends. But what I find so wonderful is that often hearing aids can improve one’s balance, help camouflage tinnitus noise and even help improve voice control.

Some 10 years ago I decided to open our first new practice in Cleckheaton (in West Yorkshire) on a shoestring, in order to try out my new idea – to offer every single patient the opportunity of a FREE TRIAL. That is, without any compromise, allowing everyone to walk off with expertly programmed finished products and try them at home and in their own unique social environments for a few weeks. And offering this perhaps several times in order to prove a definite benefit in background noise.

I am certain that this approach has made our small family of dedicated staff, extremely receptive to your needs. After all, it becomes very much our responsibility if you cannot hear well enough.

Our new Nottingham practice is run on our core principles, namely: of offering value for money, allowing a good trial before purchase and – what we believe to be a unique holistic approach to hearing aid acclimatisation.

We don’t really have any junior or inexperienced staff, indeed all our audiologists have at least 10 years’ experience.

I specialise in motivational counselling, fitting hearing aids to those with severe and profound losses, analogue hearing aids, and ensuring that we continue to offer a completely independent service.

I don’t think I’m very materialistic and I do officially work 6 days a week. In reality more like 7 if one includes all the stuff I do on my computer. I am motivated by what my patients think of me, and how many word-of-mouth recommendations I get. I am ‘in business’ to provide for my family and in this for the long term. I guess that’s a good thing for my patients.

I am happily married to May (who puts up with me very well), and have two children, Ellie (12) and Harvey (20 months), with another on the way. In my spare time, I enjoy website design, playing mah-jong with the family, walking with the kids – and I’m a bit of a film buff (preferring the 1930s and 1940s, film noir and Humphrey Bogart films).”


Book an appointment with Robert

Jo Herrod

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“I qualified as an NHS Audiologist in 1988 after studying for my A Levels at the Nottingham Girls’ High School.

Over the 18 years spent at “The Ropewalk”, I worked my way up to Chief Audiologist. My role with the NHS was varied: I worked on the Tinnitus Clinic alongside the late world-renowned Professor Ross Coles;

I performed paediatric hearing testing on babies as young as 6 months old, I worked on the Vestibular Clinic (also fondly known as the “Dizzy Clinic”), carrying out diagnostic testing on patients with balance disorders and latterly I was responsible for running an audiology service for adults with learning difficulties (to this date an area of work I miss).

However the day-to day role of an NHS Audiologist is to fit hearing aids. Now, the NHS do a fantastic job, BUT when it comes to hearing aids, it is “one size fits all”. The NHS hearing aids are the standard “Behind-the-ear” model, fitted on either an ear mould or a “slim tube”. It is the same hearing aid for everyone, and the technology is always at least 3 generations behind what is available privately. I began to feel a little disheartened, I wasn’t able to give my patients the aftercare they needed, and in terms of hearing aids, it isn’t “one size fits all” so when it came to the success of an NHS-fitted aid, if the patient was not getting on very well, there was no other choice other than to go private.

In 2005 I took myself back to college to sit my exams which enabled me to practice in a private capacity. Since then I have worked for 2 major High Street providers and gained experience in fitting the best hearing aid technology in the world. However in this environment we were increasingly pressured by the powers-that-be to hit sales targets and to get as many people through the door to test their hearing. Again, this is not how I want to work. My patients aren’t “targets”. My patients come to me because of my ability as an Audiologist.

To be able to work exactly how I want, having the ability to fit any manufacturer’s hearing aids, not just the ones we were tied into using and to be able to offer as much time and care for my patients, the only option was to set up independently.

As it so happened, Alan Jackson, with whom I have worked for over 10 years, was of the same mind-set. Alan is a fantastic Audiologist, he shares the same standards of care and works in a very similar manner to myself. We are always keen to help each other out and offer assistance on complex cases. In this profession you never stop learning and even after 30 years I always pick up new ideas from him. Put it this way, Alan is the only private Audiologist I would trust to look after my parents’ ears!

So, the Nottingham Hearing Practice was born out of this mutual desire to provide the best hearing care experience for all our patients.

Why are we any different to anyone else in Nottingham? Firstly because were are the most experienced…..we have over 45 years experience between us. Secondly we insist all our patients have free trials on their hearing aids first. With any other provider you have to pay up front for the aids, a not inconsiderable amount of money. You are assured a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. However there will always be a little doubt in the back of some-one’s mind “what if…?”

Being able to offer free trials on any make, model or style (and more than one if we need, though generally we get it right first time) takes away that fear, and builds a huge amount of trust between us and our patients.

We will spend as much time as needed in the early days of fitting and offer as many rehabilitation sessions as needed. Again, the fitting of the aids is the more straight-forward part, it’s the aftercare and counselling that is equally if not more important.

When you see either Alan or myself you can be assured of the highest level of care you could hope to receive.”


Jo Herrod

Book an appointment with Jo

A new beginning!

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At last, the official opening of our beautiful new store draws close. We are actually open already but never mind!
Come along and see us in Besston.

Sharing experiences about our ear wax removal service

By | Company, Technical, Training

Robert, Lead Audiologist for The Hearing Practice Group; Gill Morosini, our Senior Advanced Nurse Practitioner in charge of rolling out micro-suction awareness; and Alan Harwood Jackson, Co-Director of The Nottingham Hearing Practice spent the afternoon reviewing our case histories and reflective learning gleaned from our work over the last month.
In conclusion, we all agreed that we may have improved our knowledge of ear wax micro suction…
– not being pedantic about removing every bit of ear wax, where not necessary.
– representing video otoscopy evidence before and after procedure, accurately.
– making the patient feel at ease.
– preference of disposable equipment.
– all staff to use new quieter machine.

Colleagues attend ENT training over the weekend

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Mr. Rakesh Chopra MS DNB FRCS MRCGP gives another informative and stimulating lecture on anatomy and physiology of the nose, and of various conditions affecting that part of the body. I learned of the potential effects on hearing from temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction, rhinitis, rhino-sinusitis, Bell’s palsy, glandular fever etc. Mr. Chopra is amongst the best speakers I’ve listened to – breaking up the knowledge imparted with the odd little quip or joke every few minutes. I’d urge anyone interested in ENT to attend one of his lectures.