A Scottish hearing professional is celebrating after being named the UK’s leading audiologist in recognition of his work with hard of hearing people in his own community.
Stephen Douglas, from Inverness, is the winner of the Audiologist of the Year Award for 2012 – and will now go forward to represent the UK in the European equivalent.
The prestigious award, which is now in its’ fifth year, is voted for by hard of hearing people across the country and the entry standard continues to impress.
Run by hearing aid battery manufacturer Rayovac and Audio Infos the foremost hearing publication, the competition is judged independently by a panel of leading industry experts and rewards professionals who go the extra mile to help patients.
Stephen was nominated by Bill Gray, who has suffered from severe hearing loss for more than 50 years. The care and attention received from Stephen has transformed Bill’s hearing as well as had a huge effect on his confidence and life quality.
Bill explains: “The difference I have experienced is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I was amazed to find such wonderful care and attention given to me and the various hearing options open to me that I had never experienced before.
“Stephen’s manner was so sincere and really helped. It made me feel that he really wanted to help me and that I was not just another customer. I felt like someone special and he helped me to relax and open up about my problems.”
He was made to feel ‘special’ through a series of assessments, including several home visits, in which Stephen took the time to examine his hearing, understand his lifestyle and carefully explain alternative treatments in ‘layman’s terms’.
Having taken this advice, Bill has been fitted with new hearing aids and even recommended Stephens professional services to friends and family. He is quick to praise his outstanding communication skills and knowledge of his field as well as the understanding and care he shows his patients.
Bill adds: “I’m so glad Stephen was able to find me superior products to my previous hearing aids as it’s given me a whole new hearing experience. I thought I was using the best I could get. His after sales service and support is exceptional and something I have never experienced in 50 years.”
Rayovac is the world’s leading manufacturer of hearing aid batteries, supplying batteries to more than 100 countries worldwide. It has been running the Audiologist of the Year Award in conjunction with Audio Infos for the past five years to recognise the care and commitment of the UK’s 3000 audiologists in caring for many thousands of hard of hearing people throughout the country.
Stephen said: “It’s a real honour to have been named Rayovac Audiologist of the Year. It has been a complete surprise Bill voted for me, but I’m touched and happy that he did.
“I love working as an audiologist, and although you don’t expect to get nominated for prizes like this, I’m grateful Bill thought of me and that my support has helped him the way it has.”
Other audiologists who received special commendations in the competition were:
Jessica Kyei Yamoah (Boots Hearing Care, Wakefield)
Adam Shulberg (Cubex, London)
Meharban Riyat (Binns Hearing Healthcare)
Orla Kealy (Cubex, London)
Brian Unsworth (Hearing Matters, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Benjamin Mann (Click Hearing, Essex)
Max Rahman (Natural Hearing, London)
Paul Minikin (Digital Hearing Care, West Yorkshire)
Alan Walshaw (Airedale Hospital, West Yorkshire)
Chris Scire (Christian Hearing Services, Leeds)
This year’s judging panel included Tom Davison (Senior Chief Audiologist), Alan Torbet (Chief Executive, BSHAA), Philip Biggs (Hearing Dogs for Deaf People) and Victoria Adshed (Audio Infos) who were delighted by the standard of the competition and the entries, the numbers of which have grown year on year.
Alan Torbet, who was part of the judging panel, added: “Our congratulations go to Stephen Douglas for a terrific and well deserved achievement as well as all of the other audiologists who were commended and nominated.
“It’s been great to see the comments of patients which highlight the consistently high standard of care provided by audiologists across the UK. One thing common to all of the entries is the responsiveness, knowledge and compassion professionals show towards their patients and, in turn, the trust they place back in them.”