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Shropshire trust and charity team up to offer new online tinnitus support

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Coronavirus | Published:

The trust running Shropshire's major hospitals has teamed up with a charity to help people with tinnitus access online support.

The audiology team at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is working alongside Signal Charity.

Together, the organisations have formed new and novel ways to support people experiencing tinnitus across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

These new services use online video technology to provide tinnitus appointments, regular support groups, one-to-one volunteer support and expert information.

The first of these new services was launched in March, when Signal began offering online support groups.

Signal started to use the popular application Zoom to run online support groups, online speaker sessions and volunteer catch-ups as well as telephone calls, letters and email support between their volunteers and beneficiaries.

Signal’s success is inspiring other volunteers to start their own online support groups throughout the UK.

Its project coordinator will be giving a talk to British Tinnitus Association support group leaders from as far as Bradford and Derry, sharing ways in which they can promote their groups.

SaTH’s audiology department plans to join Signal by providing online tinnitus appointments.

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It comes after a successful trial of 'attend anywhere' video call technology to people experiencing tinnitus from the comfort of their own home.

Signal’s project coordinator took part in the audiology trial of the new system and said she was "impressed by the quality and it was a really positive experience".

Vicky Sadler, from the Shropshire audiology service at SaTH, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, said: “I was excited to be part of trying out video calls for tinnitus patients.

"During lockdown it’s been a different way of providing professional advice and it’s so much better to see a person’s face.

“Some people have been a bit nervous about trying it out on their laptop, iPad or smartphone, but once they realised how easy it is to join the video call they were delighted.

"As a clinician, I think it’s an innovative way forward and audiology will be trying video calls in other areas such as hearing aid follow ups.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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