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Imagine being sat in a meeting with a group of colleagues; you are sat around a large meeting table and people are chatting among themselves, but you are struggling to hear anybody clearly. The chairman at the front calls the room to order and starts delivering a presentation. He seems very quiet to you and your hearing aids are picking up the air-con unit churning away.

He asks questions but you struggle to hear, even though you would know the answer you don’t dare risk responding. You may have lip read the question incorrectly and could be ridiculed. You sit quietly, not providing any feedback feeling left out and isolated.

The presentation finishes and you are split into groups to work on team tasks. Ten colleagues are in your group and you position yourselves on a separate table to the rest. Discussions commence but your NHS Hearing aids are picking up the table behind, as they seem to be more vocal than your group. You struggle to participate only joining in when you are 100% sure of what section of the task has been itemized for discussion.

Thinking to yourself ‘I’m glad this isn’t a tender meeting for a multi million pound contract I’m involved in, as I could look disinterested, ignorant and weak. ‘