Why Have Your Prices Gone Up?

Why Have Your Prices Gone Up?

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At Hearing First and The Microsuction Ear Wax Removal Network, our aim is to provide our customers with gold standard ear and hearing care. We feel great when we help people reconnect with friends and loved ones by restoring or improving their hearing, and we want to help as many people as we can.

The Covid-19 crisis has affected us all, and to ensure everyone’s safety our professional body issued new guidance on 1st May 2020, and then updated that guidance in June and July. For everyone’s protection we now triage every potential customer for Coronavirus symptoms before accepting a booking, and check their temperature when they attend their appointment. By making sure that only people without Coronavirus symptoms attend appointments, we are greatly increasing the safety for our professional staff and for other patients attending.

We’re not like the rest…

Adding the triage process is not a trivial task and many companies have chosen not to do so. While some people may feel inconvenienced by having to spend one minute filling in a form, we believe that every measure that reduces risk is worthwhile. For those who disagree, there may be other local clinics or one person operations that don’t require a triage process, but that potentially means that the customer before them has active Coronavirus symptoms, and that’s a risk we’re not willing to take.

More to it than meets the eye…

The triage process is the first difference people will notice. The next difference is the sheer amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we must now wear during an ear wax removal appointment. Our professional staff must wear surgical scrubs, a fluid resistant disposable apron, disposable gloves, and a face mask. During the procedure itself, eye protection in the form of goggles or a visor is recommended. We also require patients to sanitise their hands and put on a Type iiR surgical face mask when we greet them at their appointment time, and keep the mask on throughout the appointment.

PPE – high cost and shortage of supply…

Many will remember news stories at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis about the shortage of PPE and the increased cost. While this is certainly a factor, the price of PPE has recently gone down, although only a little, but the cost of PPE is not the only reason our prices have gone up.

Behind the scenes changes…

The main reason for the rise in prices is what goes on behind the scenes. As well as the triage process and wearing PPE, we also need to sanitise the room in between appointments, and add extra space between appointments to make sure patients don’t wait together or cross paths when coming or going. So, after seeing a patient out, our staff have to change out of and dispose of their PPE, sanitise the room, write up notes, don fresh PPE and then call the next patient to say they can come in the building. So that we don’t have to rush the process, which is important for maintaining everyone’s safety, we allow 15 minutes, and we have kept our appointment times the same. We strongly feel that by operating this way, we are ensuring the safest possible outcome.

75% increase in our costs…

These additional timings mean that the total time it takes our staff to complete an appointment for microsuction of both ears,has gone up from 30 to 45 minutes, or an additional 50% compared to pre-Covid-19. The time taken for one ear has gone up from 20 to 35 minutes, or an additional 75%.

We have therefore had to put our prices up, but have worked hard to keep them as low as possible, and you will find that we have absorbed much of the additional cost involved.

Worth it to keep you safe…

Since re-opening, many customers have told us that having seen the additional measures we have implemented, they are happy to have paid that bit extra for their safety. We feel that although we have had to adapt our processes due to this horrible virus, it’s worth it to keep you safe.

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