Chime CIC

Chime is a social enterprise that runs dedicated hearing service clinics across 15 locations throughout Devon bringing NHS treatment of hearing loss into the community, resulting in better outcomes for patients and an improved quality of life. As a social enterprise, all profits go back into delivering more and better services. Chime have been operating predominately from NHS hospitals in Devon but our £170,000 investment has for the first time enabled Chime to have a high street presence that offers adults crucial hearing services and advice.

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In a difficult financial environment, the spin-out model can offer some social sector organisations an opportunity to secure the way they work more effectively. Chime CIC based in Exeter spun out of the NHS in 2011 and is the only audiology department in the UK to have done so. Today Chime runs a successful audiology service across multiple locations in Devon and has a case load of 34,000 patients. By spinning out , Chime gained more control over decision-making, upholding a high quality service to patients and being in a stronger position to renegotiate supply chain contracts. Over the medium term this will enable Chime to reinvest more capital back into the care of patients and to create a more sustainable model.

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SASC made a £170,000 loan to support the fitting out of a leasehold property in Exeter city centre, which will give Chime a high street presence and the physical space to see more patients.

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The investment has enabled Chime to fit out 5 new treatment rooms run by 3 new staff. As Chime reinvests surpluses back into the business, the new centre will also create opportunities for improving patient care with plans to increase the specialist capacity in the paediatric audiology service, purchase new equipment and invest in staff training.

The process with Chime so far has given us insight in to the spin-out model and how social impact is a core part of its success. We aim to continue working with Chime to support further growth opportunities.