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      Coronavirus response

      This page was last updated on 26 March 2020 

      A message from our Chief Executive, Mark Atkinson


      Dear supporter

      In light of the rapidly changing circumstances of coronavirus, I wanted to write and let you know what we’re doing in response. We know this is a really difficult time and want to reassure you that our priority remains the health and well-being of the people we support, our volunteers and colleagues. While we are following advice from the government and health authorities, we will continue to ensure our policies and procedures reflect the best information from these authorities. I hope that you, your families and colleagues stay safe and we will continue to keep you updated through our channels.

      Best wishes
      Mark Atkinson


      Our Services

      In the latest guidance from government and health authorities, the Prime Minister has said that everyone in the UK should avoid non-essential travel and contact with others. Given this guidance so far as is practical, we will continue to operate and prioritise the following:

      • Our regulated care and support services across the UK. We have implemented a business continuity plan for those that rely on these services and will continue to review our approach as the situation and guidance change.
      • Our communication support services, including access to BSL interpreters will continue to run as normal. Contact us on 0845 685 8000 (telephone) or 0845 685 8001 (textphone) or email communication.services@hearingloss.org.uk
      • Our hearing assistive technology products will still be available to purchase via our shop.
      We are currently unable to continue operating the following local services:
      • All face-to-face local engagement services, including information stands and talks, hearing screening services and training in community settings and care homes.

      JobSense Wales:

      • Our JobSense employment service is still open for referrals and we are currently working out ways to meet with participants other than face to face. For more information, or to register for the JobSense project, email info@jobsense.org.uk.
      We are currently talking with the NHS and local authority commissioners about different ways in which we could deliver the following:
      • The provision of statutory joint sensory services in Lincolnshire, LB Redbridge, LB Waltham Forest, Buckingham and Isle of Wight.
      • Our befriending, tinnitus and employment services in Northern Ireland.
      • Our specialist equipment service in Scotland.
      • The provision of hearing aid batteries and repair services. We are currently exploring alternative ways to deliver this service and will communicate more about this as soon as we can.

      We are working on plans to deliver as many services via phone and video conferencing as we can and will be providing further information as soon as possible. In the meantime, please call our Infoline for information on a specific service or email your local community support officer for more information. We will publish contact details for these services on our website in the next few days.

      Service contact details

      A complete list of all our services with up-to-date contact details can be found in this spreadsheet.

      Information Line

      Our national Information Line will be open as usual between 9-5pm Monday-Friday, where possible. Please note we are adapting this service to be home-based and therefore may have limited staff at times and may be slower to respond than normal. You are also able to access our service by pressing 1 to leave a voicemail message and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. Alternatively, please send us an email to information@hearingloss.org.uk, or message us on Facebook or Twitter and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. To contact the Information Line, please contact our Freephone number on 0808 808 0123, textphone 0808 808 9000 and our Tinnitus Helpline on 0808 808 6666. You can also access our Live Chat facility here: https://direct.lc.chat/10316797/

      BSL Users

      For our supporters whose first language is BSL (British Sign Language), a BSL translation of the guidance published by Public Health England is available from SignHealth. If you have any concerns that you may have developed symptoms and need to make contact with a healthcare professional, please get in touch with the following bodies in the first instance using the following:


      London Marathon

      Due to COVID-19, the Virgin Money London Marathon has been postponed until Sunday 4 October. We want to thank all our amazing runners and supporters for their dedication and guarantee that all places are confirmed for the revised date. We know what a huge commitment it is for you to train and fundraise for these events and we will be issuing further guidance and support as soon as it's clear how to proceed with the revised arrangements.

      You can read the full London Marathon Events announcement statement here:
      https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/news-media/latest-news/item/2020-virgin-money-london-marathon-postponed-to-sunday-4-october/

      If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our Challenge Events team.

      Event organisers

      If you or your team are involved in organising any future fundraising events for Action on Hearing Loss, you will now need to review these plans and risk assessments given this new guidance. Please speak to your local fundraising team if you have any queries or concerns.

      Health and wellbeing

      We know that people who are deaf or have hearing loss may have specific problems in accessing healthcare and other public services at this time. Through our policy and campaigning work, we have built strong relationships with government and parliamentarians and will be using these over the coming weeks to highlight specific barriers you face and ask that the services you rely on remain as accessible as possible.

      These are unprecedented times. The increased isolation which we are all facing will inevitably affect many people’s wellbeing and mental health. We know that people who are deaf or have hearing loss and tinnitus are at even greater risk of further isolation due to stricter social distancing measures. We are doing everything we can, as a charity, to find new ways of connecting with, supporting and informing our communities. If you, or anyone you know needs help during this difficult time, please do encourage them to contact us for support.

      The Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, so please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

      Our policy statement on coronavirus

      We have published our coronavirus policy statement for other organisations, parliamentarians, government officials and health professionals. It provides an overview of the key issues affecting people who are deaf or have hearing loss in the context of the UK’s coronavirus response. It also sets out Action on Hearing Loss’ recommendations for action.

      Communication tips for all health and social care professionals

      Follow these tips to help you meet the communication needs of patients who are deaf or have hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic. See our communication tips.

      Web shop: an update for our customers

      We know that our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure our customers are able to get the items they need, when they need them.

      As coronavirus has spread, we have seen an increase in people shopping online. This has had an impact on how we serve our customers, but we are working closely with all our suppliers, as far as we can, to try to make sure products are available and can be delivered as quickly as they can be. We will continue to update you regularly on our shop page, specifically with regard to availability and delivery times.

      At this present time, we are unfortunately unable to accept any returned items. If you wish to let us know that you would like to return a product, please either send an email to solutions@hearingloss.org.uk or call or leave a voice message on our Customer Services phone line 0333 014 4525 and our team will be happy to assist you.