Originally formed in 1990 to support people with hearing loss inside the boundary of the North Bristol Health Trust, HISS has developed to become an efficient, fully-trained team of volunteer visitors who help the house-bound to live independent lives by maintaining their ability to communicate.
When the North and South NHS Trusts merged, HISS extended its area too, bringing its exclusive service to those in south Bristol.
Volunteers are trained in the technical aspects of hearing aid use and so can give advice, carry out minor repairs and provide general routine maintenance.
All hearing aids need to be re-tubed twice a year: without this essential maintenance a wearer will find their ability to hear reduces over time to a point where the aid doesn't work at all. Wearers who cannot attend regular clinics often suffer isolation due to this simple service being missed.
Harriet became Chair in 2016 when our previous Chair – and founder member – moved away. Harriet worked for 20 years as a GP in a Bristol practice.
Having retired in 2012, she wasted no time before becoming involved in activities, both social and worthwhile. Having experienced increasing problems with her own deafness over recent years, and now an aids wearer herself, she felt an affinity with HISS work and quickly became one of our most active visitors.
Harriet is enthusiastic about the visiting service that HISS provides to housebound users of NHS hearing aids: enabling them to enjoy the relief and surprise that people find when they can hear better again.
We can only work with NHS aids. We report to Bristol audiology department after each visit in line with their own administrative standards. The department oversees the work we do; reviews initial referrals and provides resources and training.
Our Chair Person - Dr Harriet Lupton