Rhinegold

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Help Musicians UK expands Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme

12:01, 7th February 2018

Help Musicians UK has re-launched its Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme, expanding it to additional clinics and more music professionals.

Delivered by audiologist partners Musicians’ Hearing Services and the Musicians’ Union (with a £10 discount for MU members), the scheme was created following a 2015 survey by HMUK which revealed that musicians are at increased risk of hearing damage, with 78% of respondents attributing music as a factor to their hearing loss.

It gives musicians access to a specialist hearing assessment and bespoke hearing protection worth £200 for £40 (£30 for MU members). More than 2,800 musicians across the UK have benefitted since the scheme’s launch in 2016, and the charity predicting that an additional 21,000 musicians will take part by 2021.

To make the scheme more accessible, additional clinics are opening across the country, and the eligibility criteria have been widened to include journalists, producers, technicians, engineers, and employees of music industry bodies and charities.

The scheme offers:

  • Audiological assessment and ear check-up from a specialist in musicians’ hearing (worth up to £100)
  • One set of custom-made musicians’ hearing protection (worth £140+)
  • A two-yearly call back, where appropriate, for a subsidised hearing test
  • Expert advice on referral routes and next steps to manage any problems

The 17 clinic locations are:

• Aberdeen
• Belfast
• Birmingham
• Bristol
• Cardiff
• Edinburgh
• Exeter
• Glasgow
• Leeds
• London x3
• Manchester
• Newcastle
• Norwich
• Nottingham
• Southampton

Joe Hastings, health and welfare manager at HMUK, said: ‘Hearing is critical for musicians, and the impact of losing it can be a profound and sensitive issue. In the less than two years since the scheme began, we have seen incredible demand. It’s really exceeded our expectations. We’re thrilled to be expanding the scheme during Tinnitus Awareness Week and making it accessible to more people who work in the industry.’

Paul Checkley, clinical director, Musicians’ Hearing Services, said: ‘Noise-induced hearing loss is an invisible threat that is difficult to detect in its early stages. But noise damage results in permanent hearing loss and this can be catastrophic for a career in music. I am so pleased that we were able to help spread the word about the dangers of repeated exposure to loud music.’

hearformusicians.org.uk

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