Hearing Equipment

A woman and a man using TV equipment

Hi Kent has a wide range of equipment from which to select something to meet your hearing needs.

Please be aware that hearing equipment is designed to work with hearing aids, not to be a substitute for them. Unless you cannot wear hearing aids for a medical reason, we recommend that you take these steps before exploring equipment.

See pre-equipment steps or Visit our shop

Free Equipment Service

Photo of a woman being shown equipment

If you live in Kent and are deaf or have a clinical hearing loss, then you are entitled to a statutory assessment of your needs and to have equipment provided for you in your home on a free-of-charge long-term loan basis.

Hi Kent provides equipment if:

  • You are aged 65 years old or over;
  • Sign language is not your first language;
  • You do not also have major sight loss (a dual sensory need);
  • You live in the KCC council tax area.

Kent County Council logo

Check your council tax authority

You are still entitled to an assessment even if you do not fall under these criteria

If you live in the KCC council tax area, but do not fall under the other criteria, please contact KCC's Sensory Services for your assessment.

If you live in the Medway Council area, please contact Medway Council's services for your assessment.

How The Service Works

  1. Refer yourself or someone else for an assessment by email or telephone.
  2. Once you have made the referral, your information will be processed and you will be assigned to an assessment officer.
  3. You will then be contacted and offered an appointment. (Due to demand, this might be up to 8 weeks after your referral.)
  4. Your assessment officer will discuss your needs and the options available at your assessment.
  5. Once you have been assessed, your equipment will be delivered, installed and demonstrated.

Please be aware that KCC place limitations on the equipment which can be provided on assessment, such as the exclusion of certain items and a limit of only one item of each type. Your assessment officer can discuss this in detail with you at your assessment.

Make a referral for assessment

Provided Equipment Comes With Lifetime Support

All equipment provided on assessment comes with lifetime support, so if you have any issues with it, please contact Hi Kent so that we can help. Please tell us whether you had the equipment provided on assessment when you contact us.

Report an issue with equipment

Buy Equipment

Click here to visit our online equipment shop 

 

Montage of different assistive equipment

Sometimes you may want to purchase equipment rather than go through the assessment process. This might be if:

  • You need the equipment urgently;
  • You need an item which is unavailable on assessment;
  • You need more than one of a particular item;
  • You do not live in the KCC council tax area.

However, please note that purchased equipment does not have the lifetime support given to items which are provided on assessment and only comes with the manufacturer's warranty.

Before buying equipment, we recommend that you book a free demonstration at one of our centres in Maidstone or Canterbury first.

Under some circumstances we can offer a home visit for a demonstration of equipment if you are unable to visit a centre. However, there would be a small charge for this service, the amount of which would depend on the distance that staff need to travel. If you require this, please ask us about it when you contact us.

Book a demo

Buy equipment online


Before You Look At Equipment...

1) Have you had a hearing test recently?

Photo of a pair of headphones

If you have noticed a decline in your ability to hear since your last hearing test, we recommend making an appointment to have another one. Having the most up-to-date information about your hearing will get you the best help possible. If you have an upcoming appointment, please attend this before taking other steps (unless your need is urgent).

If you have not had a hearing test within the last 3 years, then please make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred for one. If you have had one within the last 3 years, then you can request one from your audiology department directly.

Please see here for a list of audiology departments with their contact details.

Contact audiology

If you don't wear hearing aids...

If you do not wear hearing aids and have noticed a decline in your ability to hear things, then the starting point is to have your hearing checked to find out whether hearing aids would benefit you. Please make an appointment with your GP and ask to have a hearing test.

If you don't get on with wearing hearing aids...

If you have tried hearing aids in the past but then stopped using them because you didn't like them, or thought they didn't help, please consider trying again with new ones, since technology is continuously improving. Please also be aware that you are entitled to return to your hearing aid provider for follow-ups after the initial fitting.

NHS hearing aid providers are mandated to provide hearing aids that are appropriate for your hearing needs. 

At the initial fitting, the provider will attempt to get the best fit and sound quality. However, once people have used their hearing aid in the real world, they often need to return for a follow-up to have adjustments to both the quality of the sound and the comfort of the fit. Depending on the complexity, this may require several visits which are paid for under the NHS Contract.

Contact audiology

2) Has your hearing aid been adjusted recently?

Photo of a hearing aid being worn in the ear of an old woman

Hearing aids need to be routinely checked to see whether adjustments are needed. This interval between these checks is set by your audiologist and will vary depending on your hearing needs.

If your hearing aids haven't been adjusted for a while and you don't have an upcoming appointment, please contact your hearing aid provider to request a check.

Please see here for a list of audiology departments with their contact details.

Contact audiology

3) Has your hearing aid had maintenance recently?

Photo of an ear mould being fitted into an old woman's ear

Hearing aids should be re-tubed every 3-6 months, depending on the rate of buildup of earwax and other debris. Please go to our hearing aid aftercare page for more information and to get free maintenance for NHS hearing aids.

Get free hearing aid maintenance


If you're still unsure what your next step with your hearing should be, please contact us for help.

Contact Hi Kent