Fear of after pandemic face to face work

hugs. I hope having to to talk about the route back into the office includes space for you to discuss with them.

Thanks Kelevs55. The Roger table mic in the video from baltazard looks pretty helpful (actually, it looks amazing and is discrete enough not to un-nerve my patients). It’s a ton of cash but my head of service is supportive of me so I will discuss with them once the patients get back in the room. The access to work programme - do you know if there is a threshold of hearing loss that you need to meet before you qualify ? My end of 2020 audiogram is on my profile and as it shows, I’ve not got a massive loss. I have phonic aids and I think that’s the only brand my NHS trust use.

thanks for the help everyone, so appreciated.


Any amount of hearing loss, qualifies.

Just be aware that Access to Work don’t fund 100% of what is recommended. My employer had to fund the first £1000 then 20% on top of that. My employer is the NHS.


My wife has the Starkey remote mic, similar to the Roger mic. It works well. When I am cooking and don’t want to turn up the tv in the other room, I set my iPhone near the tv and use the Starkey app to function as the remote mic and that works well. In a clinical psych setting I suspect it would be easier to convince folks you are not recording them if the mic is branded by your HA company.


Thanks Zebras, I work for the NHS too. The kind guidance from everyone has helped me find action and I have filled in an access to work application (was really easy) just now. Let’s see what they say. Will also ask my service lead if we can order the clear mouth masks for our service as it will help everyone having therapy (as well as us therapists). Not feeling so fearful, thank you everyone.


I hope you can get the clear face masks.

I’m on some training at the moment and the trainer wasn’t allowed to wear a clear face mask for me but can wear my Phonak Roger System.

The system is weird but that might be because I’m in mental health.

EDIT - The A2W wait is around 12 weeks before you are accessed. I’m on a A2W FB group and some people have rang to ask for wait time, and they’ve said they are working through November applications now.


Thanks zebras. I’m in mental health too. Will see how it goes.

Helps to know there’s the 3 month wait. Like all things I’m - it may be free to me, but the cost is my time :slight_smile: just glad to have the possibility. Sorry you didn’t get the chance to use the clear face masks.

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If the NHS is looking to you to guide them, his seems like an excellent opportunity for you to not only advocate for yourself, but for other hearing impaired employees. Surely there are audiologists/HA technicians within the NHS that could be consulted about the best equipment to help you? And hopefully they could cover the expense?

Don’t be surprised to find that some of your patients are also struggling with understanding and probably dreading these “face to face” group sessions as much as you are. I have had some incredibly difficult medical appointments during Covid, and the most ironic one was the time my masked ENT specialist had to resort to writing on a Post-It note that she was referring me for a cochlear implant!

All that said, it sounds to me like you are already a candidate for a CI, if you are that dependent on lip-reading. Your hearing problems are going to continue to be a challenge to you in your professional life as your hearing will no doubt continue to decline. Perhaps you are at the point that you need to discuss this with a specialist. Good luck.

With a mild to moderate loss, he won’t be suitable for a CI. Here in the UK, you literally have to be profound in most frequencies to qualify.

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Altho the wait is long. Once you get assessed, you’ll be pleased that you waited. DWP have said they are allowing A2W more staff to bring the backlog down so the wait might be shorter. The staff got deployed to other areas because of Covid.


Thanks Zebras - my boss said this morning she was really happy I applied so that’s good :slight_smile:

Thanks for the support susanmarylnn, my loss is not so bad, but it does impact understandability and I’m having to concentrate enough doing therapy without sweating it out just to hear properly.

No need for CIs - as Zebras said, here they are a choice for very severe to profound loss. Every time I get tested the graph goes down and the programmes go up, open to closed domes, discussion re the terrible feedback I get so the anti feedback option gets turned up more etc etc. Wonderful combo of crap ears and middle age :slight_smile:

But, it’s a sunny morning here in the UK and I have a lovely family and I am blessed with life so all good :smiley:



We had someone from the DWP in today to help my clients understand benefits and returning to work.

The person states that the NHS is level 3 disability friendly which is the highest.

That I didn’t know!


Hi Zebras - that is such a shame. We, here in Canada, also have “universal healthcare” so it’s a very big financial burden on the Ministry of Health to cover the cost of CI surgery and the initial processor, and a lifetime of visits to the audiologists connected to the implant programs. My Audi told me that, in our province at least, the CI program has been allocated more funding to expand their program - particularly recognizing the serious impact on folks who are still in the workforce. So the threshold has been relaxed, compared to what you describe.


Hi markyB,

It might be best to be as pro-active as possible. Explain the situation to your employer and enquire about changing rooms or arranging it to suit - rugs on the floor, maybe even a few cushions, position your spot in the away from the air con, perhaps enquire about office soundproofing ideas, felt-covered room dividers, etc; arrange the seating so everyone is close enough to read lips - a semicircle. You could emphasize the ‘one speaker at a time’ is not only for them but for you too. Asking the group to speak slowly may also help; slowing down speech may also assist those in the group them to express themselves succinctly. A lot of these points may actually help the group feel more comfortable than a cold echoey office.

As others have said, the Roger group mic may be an enormous help.

You could also have your smartphone or a tablet set up using Otter AI premium app. for it to catch anything you’ve missed. It’s not perfect but may help you connect the dots of conversation. Privacy may be an issue though - I think Otter always records, not sure if there’s a non-recording function.

I really feel for you. All the best,



Thanks guys. Still waiting to hear (lol…) re the access to work application.

I set the therapy room back ups again (after 2 years !) a few days ago and the circle of chairs is huge - 2 metres gap between each chair at the moment. I hope this flipping covid lessens over time. Regulations are strict for the NHS here in the UK.

It did feel really great to get the room set up though, as much as I am nervous about struggling to hear, I can’t wait to have a group of patients sat with me in a room and not just on-screen on MSTeams. So much communication is seen and felt and not just heard.


Why does there need to be some caution?

Hi Hilary, if you mean caution re covid, we are a healthcare service. Covid is transmissible quite easily and a subsection of society are very vulnerable to severe illness or death if they catch it. As a result, our health service is aiming to both protect patients and society as well as minimise the risks of staff being off with covid (as we don’t have enough staff in the NHS at present). Staff off = cancelled treatment.

We are getting back to things though, just differently.

Am setting up to do a dry run in a week or two which should be useful.


I truly appreciate your posts. Thank you!

I live/work near Toronto. I have a comp claim due to exposure to noise. I believe that the treatment methods and benefits may change province to province.

May I ask what province you are in?
near Pearson Airport, Toronto

My sense of you of you is that you are very reluctant to “impose” on anybody. How would you deal with a patient that had these feelings? And yes, anything with a medical label on it is very expensive. You mentioned that you had Phonak hearing aids, but I don’t know what model. If they’re Marvel or Paradise, one doesn’t need shoes, one just needs to activate licenses on the hearig aids.

So, my access to work stuff has arrived and my local audiology dept have set them up for me.

I have had purchased a Phonak Roger On, 2 Phonak Roger table mic IIs and 2 transmitters and shoes.

I tried them out for real in a therapy group today for the first time and wow does it all make a difference !

I used the table mics positioned at either ends of the room and it was amazing to just be able to hear everyone clearly. I was told I was talking too quietly (I guess because my own voice sounded really loud) but I think I got used to finding the right volume after the 90 minute group.

Was lovely not to be able to hear the fridge in the room more than the far half the people in the group lol.

Gave a little intro speech to my patients so they are aware what the boxes are and let them know to tell me if I am talking too quietly but it just made things easier.

I tried the Roger ON during a video therapy session and that helped too (didn’t have to have the laptop volume on full which was fab).

So, really impressed with the Roger stuff - wholly recommended. It is expensive but well worth it if you can afford it or have an access to work type scheme where your employer pays the first 1k or so and the government pay the other 3k.

:slight_smile: Still getting my head around being much more publicly hard of hearing but will get there. Someone used the word disability the other day and it felt weird but they were trying to be supportive.