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Hear here – patients at Somerset health centre get silent treatment

Opening of Keynsham Health Centre

Sirona audiologist Celia Ball, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Lucy Joll, chair of the Keynsham Association of Community and Hospital Friends at the opening of the facility.

by Alex Cameron

Patients at a health centre in Somerset can now get more hearing services closer to home thanks to dedicated fundraisers.

A ‘sound-treated’ room, which blocks most noise from outside, was officially opened at Keynsham Health Centre by North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The upgrade to the audiology room was funded by town’s Association of Community and Hospital Friends.

The site is owned by NHS Property Services and run by Sirona care and health, a not-for-profit specialist community health and social services provider.

Although some audiology services were previously provided at Keynsham, the sound-blocking work means patients can receive a wider range of services at the centre and no longer have to travel a further 18 miles to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for certain assessments.

At the ceremony on Friday (March 20), Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I pay tribute to what the Friends have done and to Sirona who brought it all together, as well as to the people who work here.”

Lucy Joll, chair of Keynsham Association of Community and Hospital Friends, said: “We were very sad when we lost our local hospital but most people in Keynsham are so pleased with the replacement Health Centre and the facilities it provides.  We have wanted an audiology room for a long time so I think it is going to be well used.”

She also paid tribute to the work of Cllr Charles Gerrish for being the ‘driving’ force behind the project.

James Wakeham, south regional director for NHS Property Services, which owns Keynsham Health Centre, said: “We are hugely grateful to Keynsham Association of Community and Hospital Friends – their exemplary thoughtfulness, commitment and generosity have helped deliver a facility that will be greatly appreciated by local patients.”

Celia Ball, a Sirona audiologist who holds clinics in Keynsham, added: “I can’t thank the Friends enough – having the sound-treated room is going to make a huge difference.”