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Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:33

Aims of Audira

The three main aims of Audira are:

  • To ensure that hearing care is open – which means easily accessible and transparent.
  • To ensure that choice is real.
  • To ensure that hearing care is effective.

Hearing Care that is Open

In order for hearing care to be open it needs to be:

  • Easily understood by service users. What does someone do in order to access hearing care services? Is there a clearly defined path or are they likely to get confused along the way?
  • Readily available to service users. Can they access services near to them? Are there barriers to them receiving the hearing care they require?
  • Transparent. Can a service user understand what's involved and what they need? Are there any alternative routes, services or products that would not be immediately obvious to a service user?
  • Open. Do hearing care providers have a level playing field in bringing hearing care to service users? Does the system of provision foster protectionism or an unfair advantage to one provider over another?
  • Openness. Does the profession provide ways to bring together the best minds and skills for an individual service user? Does the profession provide ways to bring together the best minds and skills for the future development of hearing care?

Choice that is Real

There are many things, apparent or otherwise, that hinder choice in hearing care. Audira aims to identify these and present a pragmatic and holistic approach to addressing the issues. Where necessary, it will draw the distinction between "pseudo choice" - where the illusion of choice is given to a service user - and "real choice" where the choice really does rest with the service user.

Examples of hindrances to choice include:

  • Attitudes of Society. Are potential service users put off seeking the treatment they need because of what society might think?
  • Availability of Provider. Are service users able to freely choose their provider or are they discouraged from doing so in some way?
  • Availability of Resources. To what extent does availability of resources, either of the service user or the provider, limit choice.
  • Public Awareness. Are service users aware of the choice that's available to them?
  • Universality of Provision. How universal in hearing care? Is it limited to a particular demographic or particular service?
  • Scope of Service. Should hearing care be preventative or simply remedial?

To answer some of these questions it will be necessary to explore issues that are often are taken "as read".

For example, what is hearing care? Where do attitudes come from? What should be provided by the state? Does language affect choice?

Hearing Care That is Effective

Audira continuously asks the questions:

  • What are we currently doing that is hindering hearing care being effective.
  • What should we be doing to make hearing care more effective.

Audira is most interested in looking at "systems" and their effect on attitudes and accessibility.

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