We spoke to Gordon at Largue pharmacy to see what motivated him to expand his community pharmacy services with the Tympa System and offers advice to others thinking of doing the same.
What influenced your decision to offer ear and hearing healthcare in your practice?
One of my pharmacists qualified as an independent prescriber and suggested we look into expanding our service into ear and hearing healthcare, this was about a year before we came across TympaHealth.
I was then speaking to a pharmacist friend of mine (Bryan Kidd, owner of Ashludie Pharmacy in Monifeith) who said that he had started a new service with Tympa and it was well received. At about the same time the local surgery issued a newsletter to members of the community saying that they would no longer be offering ear wax removal services. After looking at the offering from Tympa, we decided that it was a no brainer to offer this in the pharmacy.
What has been your favourite thing about using the Tympa device?
It’s simple to use and the fact that everything uploads to the server is a great feature. It means that if we have any issues or questions the pharmacists can discuss among themselves and if needed, then ask for an intervention from a team of audiologists and ENT experts at Tympa.
What has been your experience with the training provided by Tympa?
The training provided by Tympa was excellent. It consisted of a combination of online, webinar and face to face training.
How much demand has there been for the service?
There has been a large demand for the service. We haven’t had to spend a large amount of money advertising either. Once the local GP surgeries knew about it they referred patients to us initially. Now we’re finding that patients who have issues with their ears are now coming into us first, before contacting the GP. This works really well when our independent prescriber is on duty as we can offer medication, when necessary, there and then.
Do you have any standout patient story where you feel you really made a difference?
We’ve had lots of patients who have felt that we have made a difference. I’ve also experienced some “happy tears” from patients. One of them who was living in care home during covid and couldn’t see their family was suffering from difficulty hearing, so couldn’t hear them on the phone either. We had a look in their ears, saw some wax which we removed and since then they can hear their family much clearer on the phone.
What methods have worked well when it comes to getting the word out about your new Tympa service?
Speaking to the local surgeries has helped a lot. Due to them no longer offering ear wax removal and them referring directly to us. We’ve also had great success on our social media channels and our TV screens. Word of mouth locally has also helped as we live in a small town.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to deliver ear and hearing healthcare to our community.
Any advice for other pharmacies starting out on their Tympa journey?
Go for it!!
Any other comments?
Tympa are a very professional company to deal with and over the time we have been with them have expanded greatly but are still able to give the back-up and support when you need it.