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The importance of providing a ‘listening ear"

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Expert care from a highly-qualified team specialising in tinnitus, balance disorders and state-of-the-art aids is only part of the successful story behind Almond Hearing.


Appropriately, the audiologists at the company’s Livingston and Clarkston clinics understand the importance of providing a ‘listening ear’.


“We do really care about our clients,” explains Susie Darroch Paterson, who runs Almond Hearing with her husband Frazer Paterson. “The majority of the people who come to us are older, and often, if they are passing by, they will pop in for a coffee or just to say hello.  That’s just part of the business. It’s important to us to have that relationship with our community, to know we can be there for somebody even just a little bit - particularly when loneliness is such an issue for older people.”



Almond Hearing provides a comprehensive audiology service, including diagnostic hearing tests, wax removal, hearing aid assessment, noise protection and balance assessment. 


“What sets us apart is our team’s clinical experience,” explains Susie. “All of our audiologists are degree-qualified and have had clinical training within the NHS. Each has a different specialism: Iain Edgar, our Clarkston co-director, in tinnitus; Peter Lucas-Herald in balance disorders; and Frazer in hearing aid technology.


Frazer Paterson, Almond Hearing, with a client
Frazer Paterson, Almond Hearing, with a client

“In addition, because we are a small independent business, someone who wants their hearing aid fixed, for example, can talk to us without having to wait or be put through a call centre.”


Susie, who has extensive customer service experience from her previous roles as cabin crew and trainer at British Airways, adds: “It’s a much more personal approach, which we think our clients really appreciate.”


The couple opened their first clinic in Livingston in 2020, just as the first Covid lockdown began. “It was a tricky time,” admits Susie. “We had been working up to it for a long time and luckily, as an essential service, we could stay open, albeit with restrictions.” She adds, smiling, “Our second baby was born on the first day of lockdown too. So yes, there was a lot going on...”


“The majority of the people who come to us are older, and often, if they are passing by, they will pop in for a coffee or just to say hello.  That’s just part of the business.

Susie and Frazer, who have two children - five-year-old Esme, and Xander, who is three - have now opened a second clinic in Clarkston. Business is growing, Frazer explains, as people become increasingly aware of the importance of good hearing care to health and wellbeing.

 

“Hearing loss can have a big impact on quality of life - sometimes people who arrive here are already starting to withdraw from social situations because of it. Studies also outlining the links between unmanaged hearing loss and cognitive function.”


Photo of Almond Hearing reception

Attitudes to hearing aids are changing.  It has become almost ‘trendy’ to wear glasses, but there is still a stigma around hearing aids. Technology is helping to change that - designs are much more cosmetic, and people wear in-the-ear style headphones now, so it is perhaps less of an issue to have a similar device to improve your hearing.



Frazer adds, “We’re really passionate about helping people solve their hearing problems.  Our clients like  that we provide continuity of care. We'll always try to ensure you see the same clinician and that’s important to an older demographic.”


 

Article published in Konect March 2024

Author: Almond Hearing


Photo of Susie, Frazer & children
Susie, Frazer & family, Almond Hearing


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