Chime Social Enterprise launched on 1st May 2011.
We were the NHS Audiology Service for NHS Devon and were successful in applying through the Right to Request Scheme to spin out and become a social enterprise offering hearing care to the NHS.
Chime provides NHS Audiology Services for NHS Devon – Mid, East and Exeter areas. On 1st May 2011 the whole audiology department including staff and equipment transferred to Chime - the new Social Enterprise Company. All audiology services, including hearing aids, will be provided by Chime SE for the NHS free at the point of delivery. We view this as an exciting opportunity to continue to provide the excellent audiology service but to be more in charge of the decisions taken relating to the service.
We believe that to be competitive in the new world of multiple providers in the NHS and to hold dear to the principles of a quality service that we have always tried to provide, that we can be more responsive to the needs of our patients by running the service as a not for profit business.
Chime Social Enterprise has a contract to provide NHS Audiology Services, which includes hearing tests for adults and children of all ages, hearing aids services, balance, tinnitus and hearing therapy.
The freedom that we have gained as an organisation has allowed us to become more efficient and we are mandated to reinvest any surplus in the service rather than banking profit or paying shareholders. This is helping us to deliver the quality service.
It is still early days for us, but we believe that we are an ethical service holding true to the principles of the NHS - free at the point of delivery - not for profit.