Hearing Services provides hearing and balance assessments and hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation for children aged 0-16 years. Assessments for Tinnitus and listening difficulties with rehabilitation can also be arranged. Ensuring the service is Covid-19 safe means that the service has made significant changes in 2020 to ensure urgent patients and hearing aid wearers are prioritised.
The department performs hearing tests on children from 0-16 years of age.
During the Covid -19 pandemic, most new and review appointments have been conducted on the telephone to obtain a full history and arrange any actions which can be done remotely e.g post out batteries for hearing aids, make new earmould impressions for hearing aid wearers from scanned versions.
If children need to be seen face to face then this is arranged as soon as appointments are available and in priority order based on the referral letter, previous appointments results and the telephone consultation.
If a child has a hearing loss which requires a hearing aid or other management, staff from the team will organise / perform this and support the child and family through the whole rehabilitation process. The department has strong links to the Teachers of the Deaf and we liaise to ensure the best outcome for the child whatever their age.
The department is also able to assess children for balance problems, tinnitus and listening difficulties and provides rehabilitation if required.
In May 2016, the department was given accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for all activity at the main hospital site at Western Bank, or for hearing tests at the Ryegate Centre. The Department is also an accredited paediatric Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) site.
The Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) department is co-located with Hearing Services meaning that children attending ENT who need a hearing test can usually have one on the same day as their ENT appointment.
As children approach 14/15 years of age, we will start the transition process for those requiring on going support at the adult site from the age of 16 years.
Once referred to the service:
- Families will be given the main hearing services reception number and their call will be directed on as appropriate
- Regular service users will be given contact details on a business card which includes telephone, text, and email options.
- Children attending for an assessment who are discharged are given information leaflets with contact details on and advice about how to re access the service.
- Hearing services has a section on the hospital website with links to all the patient information leaflets and information about the team
- Families can discuss a referral to our service from any professional working with their child, or their GP or Health Visitor.