PAC 2016: Audiology programme combines clinical and commercial for HADs and HCAs

Professional Services’ Charlie Clements reports from this year’s PAC audiology programme – including music-making with manufacturer Widex, crystal ball-gazing with Product Director Nick Gibbs, and why BBC doctor Sarah Jarvis had a whole audience on their feet (and chairs)

Well, that’s another PAC done and dusted and the feedback from partners has been that it was the best one so far. A change to the usual format of stage presentations and manufacturer breakouts saw the introduction of bookable workshops relevant to current clinical practice and business initiatives. OK, so the ticketing process was a little clumpy and this will change for next year, but the general consensus was ‘This is what we want – keep it like this’. Your wish is our command!

Thankyou to the 250-plus partners, hearing aid dispensers and hearing care assistants who attended, ensuring that the messages and learnings from the day could be shared by whole Hearcare clinical teams.

Are you a clinical team?

The day kicked off with a presentation from general practitioner and medical writer Dr Sarah Jarvis – known to many as BBC Radio 2 and The One Show’s GP – who asked: ‘Are you a clinical team?’. With healthcare changing rapidly and more and more services being put upon primary care, she shared with us her experiences of relinquishing some of her general GP duties to the support clinicians  – nurses, phlebotomists, technicians – to enable her more time to deliver focussed medical care to patients. This message is not too dissimilar to our experiences in Hearcare.  With Clinical Commissioning Groups becoming more demanding of our clinical offering and the challenge of staying ahead of the competition, audiologists’ time is in demand and by utilising the practical, customer-facing skills of our hearing care assistants, we can start to share the consultation workload, leading to better outcomes for our customers.

Below: Dr Jarvis encouraged tables to work as a team to establish each others’ birth dates. Participants had to stand on chairs in order of youngest to eldest without touching the floor!

The future of technology

Dr Jarvis was followed by Hearcare Product Director Nick Gibbs, who introduced us to some of the potential innovations in technology for hearing impaired customers. From fully rechargeable hearing aids to remote programming, the potential for assisting hearing-impaired customers knows no limits, helping us to facilitate their rehabilitation by maximising their hearing experience.

Manufacturer sessions

It was fabulous again this year to receive the support from our manufacturer colleagues. As well as putting on a fantastic exhibition, they also contributed to the day’s learning by running a series of technology workshops.

Platinum sponsor Phonak explored the key drivers influencing end-user satisfaction with their hearing solutions.  Focusing on reverberation and signal to noise ratio, they discussed the technology currently available to combat these factors that affect listening experience.

Right: Graham Hilton, Head of Professional Services, Phonak


Sivantos presented the clinical benefits of true binaural processing and automatic functionality of the Advance 16/Binax hearing aids, improving speech intelligibility and overall patient satisfaction. They also discussed the potential for spending more time counselling the customer by delivering faster programming solutions, and how innovations in technology, such as end user ‘apps’, increase usability and may reduce the number of times a customer needs to return to store for aftercare.

Right: Wendy Davies, National Sales and Audiology Manager, Sivantos

Widex’s ‘I am the music man’, presented by Gordon Harrison, discussed the challenges and considerations a clinician has when fitting a musician.

The main focus of the session was to consider:

  • Impact on the limbic system and the power music can have
  • Requirements of music v. speech
  • Hardware restrictions and considerations
  • Fitting strategies

Thankyou to our sponsors: Widex, Phonak, Sivantos and Interacoustics

For a confidential, no-obligation discussion contact Julia Hewagama today.

Telephone: 0409 015 519

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