People are our most important asset. The best people are hard to find and so, once discovered, we work hard to keep them. We’d like to introduce you to our remarkable, award-winning team.
The latest member of our team, Fiona joined the Practice in October 2021 in the role of Front of House Executive and Administrator.
Fiona joined us after nearly a decade working in a similar role in a different sector. Her previous employers provided such a glowing reference that she stood out as the perfect person to join us and to click with our team.
“I enjoy meeting and communicating with clients, making them feel welcome and at ease. In any business first impressions are vital, especially at Hearing Healthcare Practice, where visitors may be feeling nervous. It's such a friendly team here, everyone feels relaxed very soon. And it's lovely to be a part of that and see friendships grow.” Fiona
One minute answers…
What's your favourite sound? I find the sound of water gently cascading over rocks very relaxing, it reminds me of family walking holidays in Yorkshire.
And your favourite music? I enjoy listening to various genres of music from the Popular Classics to anything from 60's, 70's and 80's.
What five words would you use to describe Audiology? Balance, sensitivity, awareness, rehabilitation, improvement.
Letitia, or Tish, as she's generally known, joined us in 2019 as a Front of House Executive – one of the most important roles in the Practice.
So much so that we call her, the Director of First Impressions. Tish originally came to us to support Ros Weaver who, after 22 years, retired in 2020. We chose Tish as she had previous experience in front of house roles in the hospitality and clinical fields and at a time when she was looking for a more fulfilling, vocational career. It quickly became clear that she had considerable initiative and an innate appreciation of the fact that, for us, nothing is ever too much trouble. Tish has totally engaged with our ethos, endearing herself to her colleagues and our clients and is always ready to go that extra mile.
In 2021 we rewarded Tish’s efforts by enrolling her in a two-year university foundation degree course in audiology. She now divides her time working front of house with Fiona, and in consultation with patients, whilst at the same time completing her academic studies on and off campus. We are delighted that audiology has provided Tish’s vocational direction and we are able to partner her on that journey.
“I love working with people and helping them. We have an amazing team at Hearing Healthcare Practice and I love to watch and learn from the dedication and skills of my colleagues. I've found something I love to do where I can make a difference and the coffee's great too!” Tish
One minute answers…
What's the best piece of advice you've ever had? Work at something you love.
And the piece of advice you're glad you ignored? Not everyone can be helped.
What's the piece of advice you'd most like to share? New batteries don’t bounce, old ones do!
What's your favourite sound? My mother playing the piano in the evenings.
What five words would you choose to describe Audiology? Interesting, Remarkable, Technology, Progressive, Rewarding.
The first of our South African audiologists is Angelique Woolf, who joined the Practice in January 2018.
Qualifying from the University of Cape Town (UCT) with an Honours degree in Audiology in 2009, Angie has worked with ENT consultants, in hospitals, community clinics and as an audiology clinical educator at UCT in her home country. Arriving in the UK in 2015, Angie searched for a clinic with like-minded colleagues who shared her same ethical principles. Like us, Angie soon realised that this wasn't easy to find. However, after a chance meeting, she discovered our Practice, relocated locally, set up home, got married and started a family – all while still finding time to pick up a coveted Commendation in the Audiologist of the Year Awards within six months of joining us!
It was a whirlwind start to her career with us but, like her colleagues, Angie has quickly established herself as a dedicated and remarkable audiologist.
“I always wanted to be able help people and improve their quality of lives. Hearing is such an important sense, connecting people to others and to the world and its loss can have a detrimental effect on relationships and quality of life. I love to work with my colleagues at Hearing Healthcare Practice, being able to create real relationships with our patients. Improving hearing opens up worlds and improves quality of life.” Angelique
One minute answers…
What's the best thing about your job? The relationships you create with patients can last for many years as you provide continuity of care. The rewarding feeling of improving the patients’ quality of life. The challenges of dealing with more complicated hearing losses, always keeps you on your toes.
And the worst? Patients having no trust in audiologists and audiology due to previous negative experiences.
What makes Hearing Healthcare Practice so successful in its work? The team takes the real time needed to assess and determine patients' hearing and communication difficulties and abilities. We use best practice in everything we do and we have the experience and expertise to treat an individual holistically, creating a relationship which surpasses simply the fitting of hearing aids.
What's your favourite sound? Snow crunching underneath my feet.
What five words would you use to describe Audiology? Patience. Care. Persistence. Empathy and Guidance.
Our second audiologist originating from South Africa, this time Johannesburg, is Natalie
Qualifying in 1996 with a degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Natalie's 25-year career has seen her running her own practices and being selected as the National Chairperson of the South African Association of Audiologists.
Natalie decided to relocate with her family to the UK for a fresh challenge. Introduced to us in late 2019 by a mutual contact who suggested we would be the perfect fit for each other, a series of Intercontinental Zoom meetings confirmed our shared interests and standards, and we agreed to work together. The global pandemic delayed Natalie's arrival until December 2020 but, since then, she has rapidly become a key team member. Natalie's attention to detail is exceptional and we’re delighted she's joined us for what we hope will be a fulfilling personal and professional journey.
“I became an audiologist to help bring back something that someone has lost: an opportunity to hear, connect, integrate and communicate with others. It can be a fantastically rewarding job.” Natalie
One minute answers…
What’s the best thing about your job? Connecting people with one another. Treating every client as if they're your brother, mother or grandfather.
And the worst thing? Seeing how people have been misled or incorrectly treated through ignorance or ineptitude.
What makes Hearing Healthcare Practice so successful in its work? At Hearing Healthcare Practice, we take the time to find out what matters most to each and every client, and to explore all aspects of technology available to enhance their everyday listening experiences.
What's your favourite sound? The wind through the trees in a forest. I’ve also scuba-dived and swum with dolphins, an amazing experience… but it really is quiet down there!
What five words would you use to describe Audiology? Innovation. People-centred. Ever-changing. Compassion-driven. Rewarding.
Jo joined our Practice in 2005 with a Psychology degree which turned out to be a fantastic foundation for her training as an Audiologist.
She then embarked on a further two year's training in Hearing Sciences, mentored under our tutelage. Qualifying in 2007 Jo has been an important member of the Practice ever since. Her patients have become more like friends, many of them having been under her personal care for more than a decade.
Jo was regularly nominated in the Audiologist of the Year Awards which ran from 2008 to 2020, and selected for a Highly Acclaimed Commendation three years in a row. Currently on maternity leave, Jo will return to clinical practice in 2022.
“I always knew I wanted a career helping people and audiology ticks all the boxes. It's a career in which you can make a huge difference to a person's quality of life. I love the change you see in people when they can hear better. They regain their confidence, and it is wonderful to play a part in their journey.” Jo
One minute answers…
What makes Hearing Healthcare Practice so successful in its work? Quite simply it's down to the personal care and attention that each individual client is given. We always spend the time to give the best possible advice. What I dislike most in my line of work is seeing people who have been let down by other hearing companies. Some may have spent a small fortune on a set of hearing aids that are totally wrong for them. That's a terrible shame.
What's the best piece of advice you had? Be kind. And never, ever give up on a client.
What's your favourite sound? Hearing my little girl giggle for the first time.
What five words would you use to describe Audiology? Helping people hear their world!
Finally, our Practice’s visionary approach is down to the guidance of Robert Beiny who started it all...
Robert always had a plan to change our field, Audiology, for the better – for patients, clients and audiologists.
Over a 45-year career, Robert has evolved a refreshingly enlightened approach to audiological care, far removed from the standardised methods employed at clinics and in High Street hearing aid providers around the world. His goal was to take focus away from product supply, to fostering a clinical environment which was conducive to the development of a much deeper, more personal relationship with clients.
“From the very the start we realised that people were searching for something different. Time and time again, and more and more over the years, they have told us that the services they experienced elsewhere were impersonal and dumbed down. The sole strategy in these other practices seems to revolve around the supply of hearing aids with little empathy or desire to understand how someone was feeling and what issues they were dealing with in their lives – things their sense of hearing had a direct impact upon. In nearly every case the focus had just been of technology and hearing aids, but little attention given to the fact that there was a person between the ears crying out not only to hear, but to be heard. We realised this population wasn't being served adequately, their voices were lost. But their needs resonated. We knew we could make a difference to them. With everything we do, Hearing Healthcare Practice aims to challenge the status quo. We think differently.” Robert
Now in his sixties, Robert Beiny continues to be involved at Hearing Healthcare Practice on a daily basis, guiding and challenging us to be better professionals. He describes his role today:
“Now I'm no longer involved in consulting, my role has evolved to read research, interpret studies and attend lectures on all matters related to the hearing sciences, clinical excellence, psychology, ethics, compassion and empathy. I read voraciously, distil what I learn and add the experience I’ve built up over the years to guide Tish, Fiona, Angelique, Natalie and Jo to be the best they can be every day. It's also my role to foster an environment where the well-being of our team is paramount. Afterall, we all love to be valued and to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, something that gives us meaning. This unique corporate culture is what makes Hearing Healthcare Practice a true collective force.”
It's this view which has propelled Hearing Healthcare Practice to become recognised as leading hearing experts and at the forefront of independent audiology and hearing care in Hertfordshire and the UK. Robert concludes:
“We've been ever present in Harpenden for 40 years in our own dedicated space. We don't share premises, so we're not relegated to operating from, for example, a spare room in an optician, chemist or an occasional rented consulting room. So, we're not at anyone's mercy. We advocate face-to-face appointments wherever possible as the virtual world will never replace the real world. We are proud to remain 100% independent and will never compromise on our best practice approach.”
“After clocking up so many years, I'm often in demand for my opinion and advice on a wide range of matters. That could be anything from international research projects, journalists wanting an interview, of national policymakers needing ideas (!) or, perhaps most important, acting as a mentor to fellow audiologists. It's so varied there's never a dull moment.”
(A little more than) one minute answers…
How long have you been in Audiology? As of December 2021, I have been an audiologist for forty-five years. Incredibly I still have the same drive, passion, and energy for our chosen speciality as I did when punks were turning heads in the Kings Road.
What's your favourite book? I read all the time: novels, biographies, scientific journals, the list is endless. I was introduced to Start with the Why (Sinek) in 2010 which confirmed the direction I was steering Hearing Healthcare Practice was born out of scientific study and validated. A really insightful read about how to inspire people. I use it as a reference book regularly.
And your favourite sounds? Music for me is a movable feast and my greatest motivator outside my family and my work. At the moment, I'm listening to “I Want You (She’s so Heavy) by The Beatles. The production of this track is amazing and, as I was fortunate enough to have met George Martin several times, it has even more meaning for me. Tomorrow I might listen to “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Different things in music resonate with me from the lyrics, the melody, the hook, the production or the memory it invokes. When they're all in line in equal value, it sends shivers down my spine.
What five words would you use to describe Audiology? Immense, Emotional, Exciting, Humbling. Life-Enriching.