Get the most up to date information on topics and issues that affect our profession and the services we provide.



Secret Fatboy Slim set benefits

the British Tinnitus Association

27 February 2015¬†‚ÄstSuperstar DJ Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook took to the decks in a secret set last night, helping to raise awareness of tinnitus and the work of the British Tinnitus Association (BTA). Norman ‚Äď and a host of other world famous DJs, including Danny Howard, DJ Hype, Jaguar Skills and¬†Erb N Dub ‚Äď were playing at the after party at Cargo, London to celebrate the launch of Jessica van der Weert‚Äôs FlipSide exhibition. BTA staff were on hand to offer information about tinnitus and hearing protection, and a collection was taken from party goers.

Renowned photographer Jessica van der Weert has spent the last two years shooting some of the world‚Äôs biggest and most influential dance music producers and DJs, following their passions away from music ‚Äď and the resulting exhibition, called FlipSide, features¬†28 world famous superstar DJs and music makers, including Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Boy George, Judge Jules. Each picture presents the DJ showing off their interests which range from racing classic cars, Brighton and Hove Albion football club, Coronation Street to the film Platoon.¬† The exhibition is at the Hoxton Gallery, London until 4 March. The exhibition is free to attend, but donations are being collected for the BTA. Donations of ¬£5 can also be made by texting SIDE15 ¬£5 to 70070.

Comments Norman, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm part of FlipSide because it‚Äôs an original project with some insanely good pictures from the amazing Jess. It‚Äôs for a very good cause, supporting the British Tinnitus Association.‚ÄĚ

Explains Jessica van der Weert, ‚ÄúFlipSide isn‚Äôt just about me having a great time with all my favourite DJs. It has a serious aim too. Clubbers and DJs alike are more likely to be affected by tinnitus. Through a worldwide exhibition, FlipSide aims to raise awareness of tinnitus.‚ÄĚ

Helen Goldsby-West, Head of Fundraising and Development for the British Tinnitus Association said, ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre thrilled to be a part of such an innovative and fun project,¬† that not only showcases some outstanding portrait photography but raises much needed awareness of tinnitus.‚ÄĚ

The exhibition’s closing event on March 4 is dedicated to the BTA. For more information on attending the event, please contact the BTA on 0114 250 9933 or

More information, including images of some of the FlipSide photographs can be found or


Healthcare Science and seven day services survey


Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. It should take approximately 10 -15 minutes to complete

The survey is a follow up from that circulated in 2013 and aims to identify any change from the baseline in terms of which seven day HCS services are available across England, identify any service gaps and how HCS seven day services can help to support improved patient outcomes and safety.


The deadline for completion is MARCH 6TH 2015

Ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion on Hearing loss


On 4th February Alan Meale MP tabled an Early day motion (EDM) number 772
in the House of Commons on HEARING LOSS

The motion calls for the House to acknowledge the forthcoming publication of the National Action Plan on Hearing Loss; but calls on the Government to request the NHS to commission NICE to prioritise the immediate development of a hearing loss clinical guideline to establish and maintain quality standards for patients suffering hearing loss.
Read it here

The way an EDM works is the more MPs that sign it and show support
Early Day Motions (EDMs) are used by MPs to express their opinion on something or to draw the attention of the Commons to a particular issue or campaign. Other MPs can show their support for a particular EDM by adding their signature to it. While they are not normally debated, an EDM that attracts hundreds of signatures from MPs of all parties is likely to result in some kind of response from the Government.

We would like to ask you to consider asking your own MP if they are going to support the motion and add their signature to it. To find your MP and how to contact them visit this web page:





Following on from the Action on Hearing Loss report, Under pressure Jackie Ashley has raised the profile of cuts to Hearing Aid services in England in The Guardian newspaper with the article:

Refusing people hearing aids ‚Äď a parable for Britain‚Äôs short-term health policy




Sign up to #HCS15 - the healthcare science event for 2015

#HCS15 - Healthcare Science - Making it Happen is the year's major Healthcare Scientist leadership event, organised by the Chief Scientific Officer on behalf of NHS England.


The event is being held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, central London on Mon 16 & Tue 17 March 2015, including the 2015 Healthcare Science Awards on the Monday evening.


#HCS15 is for the leaders and rising stars of the healthcare science profession.  The event is being specifically designed to inform and support healthcare scientists to look up and out to engage with the new and evolving structures of the NHS and to help set and define the agenda for the year to come. It will also provide the opportunity to network with other leading figures across the Healthcare Science leadership community, sharing skills, experience and thinking.


#HCS15 will hear from senior figures in healthcare policy and cutting-edge science to share knowledge, skills and wisdom, helping individual scientists to shape new models of care and improve integration by breaking down silos.


Make sure you sign up for the event by registering on the NHS England Website at  Do book early, as places are free, but they are limited.


The two days provides the perfect opportunity to hear from leading speakers about the key changes and opportunities in the health and care landscape.


Refreshments and lunch will be provided during the day.  We would also be delighted if you join us in the evening on Monday, 16 March.  This promises to be an entertaining evening with a three course dinner, awards ceremony and further opportunities to network.


Please share details of the event amongst your networks and colleagues if you think it would be of interest to them.


We look forward to seeing you on the day.


Copyright © 2015 Department of Health, All rights reserved.

You're on this list as you asked to be kept up to date with information from the Chief Scientific Officer for England


Our mailing address is:

Department of Health

Room 207, Richmond House

79 Whitehall

London, Eng  SW1A 2NS

United Kingdom



Action on Hearing Loss Launch the Under Pressure Report 

Action on Hearing loss launch a new research report: Under Pressure: NHS audiology across the UK (

Based on the findings from a survey of 140 NHS adult audiology providers, the research shows that NHS audiology services across the UK are under significant pressure, with two in every five (41%) offering patients a reduced service as a result of budget cuts or increased demand. It shows that short of removing provision altogether, many providers are being forced to make other changes to their services such as reducing follow up appointments, reducing the number/skill level of staff, increasing waiting times, and/or reducing home visits, and that there is much variation across the UK.

Their findings show that it is vital that there is proper investment in audiology services and that quality standards are in place and enforced, to provide evidence-based guidance to providers and commissioners.  

Action on Hearing Loss calls for NICE to prioritise the development of the quality standard on hearing loss. Please help us by taking action ( to protect the future of hearing loss services, and forwarding this link to other supporters. For people in England, this link will ask people to write to their MP to push for the NICE quality standard. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, it leads to different actions based on the findings of the research.

If you have any queries do contact Chris Wood

Chris Wood PhD | Senior Research and Policy Officer | Action on Hearing Loss 

19-23 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8SL

020 7296 8003



BAA are pleased to announce a Bursary Scheme for members


The BAA launched a bursary scheme for BAA members at the 2014 conference. 

For further information and to download the bursary application form please download the document below.


Adobe_PDF_icon.pngBAA Bursary Information & Application Form



BAA  released a joint press statement with BSHAA and NCHA - see the press release below. The three organisations continue to work together to fight for access to high quality NHS Hearing Healthcare.

BAA.png BSHAA.png NCHA.png


Hearing providers fight for patients’ needs


The major representative organisations for hospital and community hearing care providers are working together to protect patients’ access to high quality NHS hearing care


The British Academy of Audiology (BAA), British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA) and National Community Hearing Association (NCHA) are working together as the ‚Äėvoice of providers‚Äô to ensure people with hearing loss get access to the NHS services and support they need.¬† They are calling for a hearing care system designed around patients‚Äô needs as key partners within the Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance (HLDA).


The need for joint action is driven by recommendations from the International Longevity Centre’s Commission on Hearing Loss report, developments in North Staffordshire where the local Clinical Commissioning Group inappropriately proposed to cut NHS provision of hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and NHS England’s Five Year Forward View which calls for a change in culture and greater investment in preventative care.


Alison Walsh, President of the BAA, said: ‚ÄúIn 2014 key stakeholders from the hearing care sector came together to fight the controversial proposals by North Staffordshire CCG. The need for a joined up approach and our successes so far, prove that working together to protect the rights of the patients we serve is now more important than ever before. Provider organisations working with patient groups know how the system works, how it can be improved and what is possible within the resources available.‚ÄĚ


Harjit Sandhu, Head of Policy at the NCHA said: ‚ÄúCommissioners will have to make considerable savings in the coming years. In the past NHS audiology has been referred to as a Cinderella service because of underfunding and we must work together to ensure those days do not return. We all share the goal of making sure the system continues to meet the needs of an ageing population. There is so much to do and we will achieve more for patients together than by working alone.‚ÄĚ


Alan Torbet, Chief Executive of the BSHAA, said: ‚ÄúNHS audiology has been underfunded and overlooked by commissioners and policymakers for many years. With an ageing population every audiologist, whether working in hospital or the community, will want to ensure people have access to high quality NHS hearing care and achieve the best possible outcomes. Together we are best placed to ensure policymakers and commissioners understand what the system can achieve when fairly supported.‚ÄĚ


 Provider organisations are committed to working with patient groups and commissioners to deliver the NHS Five Year Forward View, ensure services are constantly improving and delivering better outcomes and to meet the hearing needs of a growing and changing patient base that have different expectations and needs from those in the past. They will continue to work with partners in the HLDA by pooling their professional knowledge and understanding of the NHS system and working with commissioners and patient groups to improve access, outcomes and hearing care. 


The International Longevity Centre’s report is available at

The Five Year Forward View is available at  



 Proposed decommission of bilateral hearing aids by North Devon CCG

The full formal BAA response to North Devon CCG who have recently withdrawn the provision of Bilateral Hearing Aids for Adults can be read here.


Extract from the letter

Overall, the BAA considers that the CCG should retain bilateral hearing aid provision for people with hearing loss. Apart from the public outcry that is to be expected if the change is implemented, the outcome is likely to be a reduction in HRQoL of the local population in the short term, consequential further reduction in HRQoL in the medium term as opportunities of earlier fitting are lost, followed by incurring increased costs in other areas of health care as the effects of the change become evident. A change that is intended to be cost-saving is likely to end up being cost-incurring. 

The BAA would also like to formally record concern over the conduct of the CCG in progressing these proposals without public consultation. This is a matter of significant public interest and we feel needs to be conducted in an open and transparent way.

Continuing to raise these issues

BAA President, Alison Walsh has also had an informal conversation with Professor Sue Hill during the  AHCS Congress about the issues with CCG's. Prof. Sue Hill informed Alison that she had written to CEO of NHS England to ask when the Action Plan will be published and for now we agreed the need to carry on with a multi-pronged approach when these issues arise.





NHS England Publishes Advice on ANSD and Cochlear Implantation


The BAA is currently represented on the Specialist Ear Surgery Commissioning Review Group.


Recently this group provided advice regarding Cochlear Implantation and ANSD this has now been published for commissioners by NHS England. This document is available to read here.


Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan ‚Äď Consultation document


Please find below a link to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Healthcare Science (HCS) National Delivery Plan.  The document was launched by Alex Neil, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing on 12 June 2014.

The BAA recognise the impact this document may have on it members particularly those who currently practice in Scotland, we would therefore advise members to review the document and respond as they feel appropriate


The development of a Healthcare Science Delivery Plan will be a first for Scotland and for the UK.  This consultation is an important step to ensuring that we develop a plan which is ambitious as well as achievable and will provide a strategic platform for future HCS activity. 

 The consultation document has been developed in partnership with a range of Healthcare Scientists from across NHS Scotland.  The process of engagement will continue and extend to a broad range of key stakeholders and groups.  Written responses to this consultation are invited by 30 September 2014.  Details of how to respond are available on page 32 of the document.






North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group consultation

BAA have submitted a response to North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group consultation on their proposal to decommission hearing aids for mild and moderate hearing loss. The response included a letter from the first author of a review which was used by the CPAG to support their proposal. Responses have also been submitted by many other agencies. BAA will ensure we are involved throughout this journey.



BAA Letter to North Staffordshire CCG


Theresa Hnath Chisolm Letter


International Longevity Centre - UK Report


A report launched on Monday presents new data to show not only the predicted growth in the number of people with hearing loss, which is set to account for almost 20% of the total population by 2031, but also highlights a £25 billion loss to the UK economy in potential economic output.

The International Longevity Centre‚ÄďUK ‚Äď the leading think tank on ageing and longevity ‚Äď set up an independent Commission to examine why, with the widespread acceptance of an ageing time bomb, hearing loss remains on the sidelines for both the general public and politicians and what the cost will be to our society, if we fail to take action.

The BAA have been integral to the development of this report and as President of the BAA I have been involved as a commissioner and lead representative of our membership body. 

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK and Chair of the Commission, said

‚ÄúSince the 1990s there has been a steady rise in the number of people with hearing loss and this is only set to get worse ‚Äď if we look into the future, there will be more older people and unfortunately many of them will experience hearing loss.

‚ÄėIf we consider that while loud rock music and festivals may have contributed to hearing loss among the baby boomers, iPod and other such devices may well pose an even greater danger to the next generation.‚ÄĚ

This report builds on the evidence that highlights the profound individual, family and societal consequences of hearing loss. We know hearing loss compounds social isolation and loneliness, particularly for older people and can act as a barrier for socialising with family and friends, employment and other recreational activities.

We also know that unlike sight loss, many people do not ever, or wait far too long, to get their hearing checked. On average, people wait 10 years ‚Äď that is 10 years of potentially not hearing your loved ones and friends properly, or being able to enjoy your favourite TV programme.

Paul Breckell, Chief Executive of charity Action for Hearing Loss and a Commissioner said:

‚ÄúFor far too long, hearing loss has lost out in the hierarchy of other health conditions, but we can no longer ‚Äėafford‚Äô to ignore the individual, economic and societal cost of hearing loss. One lady who gave evidence at the Commission said ‚ÄúWe need to add life to years, not simply years to life‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄėWe also know, with ever increasing financial pressures, some Clinical Commissioning Groups may be tempted to cut back on non‚Äďacute NHS services ‚Äď North Staffordshire CCG is currently consulting on whether to remove free NHS hearing aids to those who have mild to moderate hearing loss. This is completely unacceptable‚ÄĚ

The Commission has made a series of recommendations including calling on the Government to publish and deliver on a long awaited Action Plan on Hearing Loss 

The Commissioners include: Chair: Baroness Sally Greengross, Paul Breckell: Chief Executive, Action on Hearing Loss, Rosie Cooper MP: Member of Parliament for West Lancashire, William Brassington: President of the British Academy of Audiology, Peter Ormerod: Boots Hearingcare, Elspeth Howe: Baroness Howe of Idlicote.


The report, is available to download from the ILC-UK website here:


Update on Proposals to Decommission Hearing Services in North Staffordshire.

Further to our recent proposals set out by North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to decommission the provision of hearing aids for patients with mild to moderate, age related hearing loss the BAA has been working hard to address this issue.
Since we posted the news of this on Facebook there has been a huge collective response from members, the public, the 3rd sector and many others. 
Below is an overview of some of the primary things we have concentrated on in dealing with this issue of the last week
  • Initial posting on Facebook, Twitter and the Website to generate interest and discussion amongst members and public.
  • Direct contact with Management team at North Staffs General Hospital to provide advice and guidance and pledge support in raising local awareness of concerns.
  • Direct contact to both the Chief Audiology Advisor ( Adrian Davis) and to the Chief Scientific officer (Sue Hill) to request support and express professional concerns.
  • Raised awareness of this issue to the current House of Lords Commission on Hearing Loss led by Baroness Sally Greengross
  • Direct response to the North Staffs CCG Survey and request to attend Consultation Event ( details below)
  • Direct response to the North Staffs CCG ¬†Clinical Chair requesting specific information regarding evaluation process used.(details below)
  • Collaborative letter written by Hearing Alliance to Normal Lamb MP(details below)
As President of the BAA I have expressed my grave concerns regarding these proposals, I am however confident that given the level of response observed so far the North Staffordshire CCG will recognise that there have been significant flaws in the evaluation process that has led to these proposals and following the consultation period will not proceed with their plans.

I do however urge members to visit the North Staffordshire CCG Website and complete the survey prior to the 23rd June 2014


William Brassington

President- British Academy of Audiology

Direct Letter to North Staffs

North Staffs on line form response from BAA

Hearing Alliance joint letter to Minister

Take action now and respond to this consultation


North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is reviewing whether it continues to provide NHS funded hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss.

This is concerning because early diagnosis and management of hearing loss is crucial for enabling people with hearing loss to maintain their health, well-being, employment and independence.

Even if you don't live in this area, please make a response to this informal consultation. A link to a survey is below. If North Staffordshire approve this proposal, it could result in similar decisions being taken elsewhere in the UK.

The Clinical Commissioning Group has organised two events so the proposed changes can be discussed. These are: 
‚ÄĘ Wednesday 25th June 2-4pm - Newcastle-under-Lyme
‚ÄĘ Wednesday 2nd July 6-8pm ‚Äď Leek

To express your interest in attending these events, please email or speak to Janet Carr on 0300 404 2999 extension 6852 or text 07702 518595. If you need Communications Support, please make the organisation aware.

To submit feedback by the survey, here is the link:

Message from BAA President Will Brassington

The BAA will do all in its power to support the departments within the CCG area and after being made aware of this only on Friday started to circulate the information as widely as possible.

The BAA will be working with other members of the hearing alliance -3rd sector, industry, independent sector and Senior colleagues in NHSE, PHE etc to lobby our concerns. 

It is important that as many people as possible respond to this consultation.


 Chartered Scientist Award CSci


At the recent Board meeting BAA discussed the findings of the survey of the membership in relation to the Chartered Scientist award CSci. Given the limited interest from members and the significant investment required both financially and in the systems to facilitate assessment, the decision was taken not to pursue this at this time.


The Board were reluctant to make this award available for members especially given there is no recognition for CSci to contribute to equivalence assessments for AHCS or ACS. We will keep a watching brief and may re-open discussions if conditions change.



Congratulations to Professor Adrian Davis OBE

Brisbane: 32nd World Congress of AudiologyadrianDavis250x323.jpg


Professor Adrian Davis OBE was awarded the Aram Glorig prize for his lifetime contribution to public health research concerning hearing and communication.

Professor Robert Cowan, President of the International Society of Audiology, awarded the prize to Professor Davis and said that ‚ÄėProfessor Davis has led the way in defining the descriptive epidemiology of hearing and communication in the world. He has worked on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) both highlighting the issues of hearing and communication and the major gains in health that can be gained by developing policy based on the GBD. As well as his research and policy development, Professor Davis has implemented and evaluated national screening services and health services. He makes an articulate case for better systematic data on hearing loss and communication and to estimate more effectively the costs of hearing loss and the economic benefits of interventions to prevent hearing loss and reduce its impact.'

Professor Davis commented that ‚ÄėHe was delighted to accept the Society‚Äôs major award for 2014. Hearing and communication problems impact almost every part of our lives from development, education, employment, welfare, transport, leisure, defence and healthy aging. Over the next 20 years there will be a steady decline in premature mortality in most countries and a major increase in life expectancy.¬† The DALYS burden will shift even more from mortality to morbidity, with the inevitable huge costs in managing many more people with morbidity and increasingly multi - morbidity. Countries such as Australia and the UK will triple the number of people over 75 with hearing loss by 2034! Preliminary analysis for GBD2013 is showing the even greater contribution that hearing loss has on the burden of disease. To minimise the impact this huge increase will create, we need to create the best strategy for research, translation and implementation to inform policy makers, clinicians and populations about the crucial role of prevention and management of long term conditions such as hearing and communication problems in creating added happy years to life. Our goal is to enable people worldwide to live longer and better lives by developing, using and maintaining their communication potential irrespective of their hearing function. This will require health professionals to work more effectively across traditional boundaries to provide resilient population health supported by effective hearing and communication‚Äô


Note: Professor Adrian Davis is Deputy Director: Population Health Science at Public Health England. He is also the lead advisor to the Chief Scientific Officer at NHS England  for Audiology and gives strategic advice to the National Screening Programmes.

He has been Director of the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) and the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination Screening Programme (NIPE) for the Department of Health for whom he was also lead advisor for physiological diagnostics and audiology.

Adrian led the transformation and evaluation of NHS services across a variety of settings, including inspiring the creation of quality standards for services in England and Scotland.  He has a major interest in innovation and how the healthcare workforce can better use knowledge, information and technologies to transform and improve service quality and patient experience.

He worked as a lead scientist with the UK Medical Research Council and has received a DH lifetime achievement award for his research and scientific contribution to healthcare in the NHS. In 2007 he was awarded a national honour (OBE) for his work in improving healthcare in the UK.

He has published 250+ articles, chapters and books about his research and associated service development. He is a leading member of the International Society of Audiology, immediate past Chair of the International Journal of Audiology, past Chair of the British Society of Audiology and member of the British Academy of Audiology. He is also co lead of the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) on humans  His current interests are in the Global Burden of Disease, working at Public Health England. He is especially interested in population health research and how population hearing health impacts on community engagement and people’s wellbeing.

Professor Davis has an honorary chair at University College London in Hearing and Communication.


Posting Hearing Aid Batteries

Following a recent member enquiry regarding new regulations relating to the postage of Zinc-Air batteries the BAA wrote the following letter to Royal Mail and have since received the response below which we hope will address and concerns members have regarding posting hearing aid batteries to patients-

Dear Royal Mail

I write in my capacity as President of the British Academy of Audiology, the UK largest professional body for professionals who work with people with hearing loss. Nationally there are approximately 2.5 million people using hearing aids and many of these people have hearing aid batteries posted out to them from NHS establishments on a regular basis. Recent information from Royal Mail Suggests you are no longer prepared to allow the postage of Zinc -Air batteries. Can you confirm if this applies to all zinc- air batteries or just those that have been used. Ceasing to allow the postage of new batteries to elderly and often housebound patients would cause significant problems and distress for many. I would therefore value you response asap.

Kind Regards

William Brassington

President - British Academy of Audiology 

 Good morning William,


Thank you for your message.

I would just like to confirm packaging guidelines for sending zinc-air batteries through our network.

These can be sent inland and overseas. However they must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging. Surround with cushioning material e.g bubble wrap. The senders name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Hope this clarifys the situation for you but should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.


Allison Parkin

Dangerous Goods Team



Statement relating to BAA involvement and accountability in relation to the STP Objective Structured Final Assessment (OSFA)

Please find the full statement here


BAA Letter to Age UK

William Brassington has written to Age UK on behalf of the British Academy of Audiology following recent concerns raised from our membership regarding the relationship between AGE UK and UK Hearing Care.

Read the full letter here.


Age UK Response to BAA Letter

Read the full Response from Age UK here.




Working together to develop research that matters in ENT, Hearing and Balance



This is an exciting opportunity to have your say in what you think is important for future research for ENT, Hearing and Balance care in the UK.




ENT UK is working with the British Academy of Audiology and the British Society of Audiology on the GENERATE Project. GENERATE will raise awareness of the importance of continuing research in ENT, hearing and balance conditions, and develop a joint national programme for research. The GENERATE team will work closely with patients and their carers, healthcare professionals, researchers, charities and people who design and deliver healthcare services to decide on the most important areas for research in ENT, Hearing and Balance care.


Why do we need research?


ENT, hearing and balance conditions have a major impact on patients, their families and their quality of life, so it is important that people with them receive the best care. There is ongoing research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ENT conditions and problems with hearing and balance, as well as research into how care should be delivered in these areas. To decide what the best care is and how this is best organised, more high quality research is required.


The GENERATE team are interested in the views of people who have experienced or have an interest in these issues as well as professionals who work in this field. Finding out the questions that people want answered by research through surveys, focus groups and interviews is at the heart GENERATE. These ideas will be brought together and shared with our partners in order to prioritise, develop and find funding for the top projects.




The GENERATE survey will be launched on 28 April, 2014. It will be sent to BAA members, and can also be accessed through the ENT UK website at If you are interested in participating or finding out more about GENERATE, please contact Natalie Bohm at



HCPC Consultation on Standards of Proficiency

Dear BAA members

Please see below link for a news release regarding the recently launched HCPC consultation on the standards of proficiency for both biomedical scientists and clinical scientists.

For more information on the consultation for clinical scientists, including access to the online survey for response, please follow the below link.

Questionnaire from The Chief Scientific Officer , Sue Hill

Dear Member/HOS

The Chief Scientific Officer , Sue Hill  is looking  to collect some data about activity and demand for physiology diagnostics investigations and the attached questionnaire has been developed to help capture the data.
The information she is keen to collate is across all Physiology Diagnostic Services, I have raised the issues of this for individual members and service heads and would suggest that unless you have detailed knowledge of another service within your organisation you simply complete for Audiology only.
I would advise all Audiologists to speak to their Heads of Service and request they complete this. Audiology is currently viewed as a positive contributor and it is hugely important Audiology services actively participate in such surveys if the profession wishes to remain on the radar of the CSO and NHS England.

kind regards

Will Brassington

President- British Academy of Audiology


Changes to the current Newborn Hearing Screening Programme


19th March 2014


Dear Colleague

As you may be aware as of the 31st March 2014 there will be significant changes to the current Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP).

The decision by Public Health England to withdraw funding from the NHSP to support the quality assurance of diagnostic assessment and early habilitation without first ensuring the transition of this work to the appropriate bodies is one which the BAA strongly condemns on the basis it places new-borns at increased risk of mis-diagnosis and reduction in the quality of Audiology care.

In response the BAA have produced the press release and document below, which provides an outline vision for the future and which we hope will provoke some constructive discussion and supportive action from all key stakeholders.

I invite you to read this and respond, as you believe appropriate,

Kind regards

William Brassington MSc

President ‚Äď British Academy of Audiology


Press Release

Quality Assurance of the New-born Hearing Screening Programme to change from 31st March 2014


The BAA have recently learned that as of the 31st March 2014 there will be significant changes to the way quality assurance of diagnostic assessment and auditory habilitaton post the New-born Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) is monitored in England.

Since its inception in 2002 the NHSP has taken responsibility for managing quality assurance (QA) not just for the hearing screening process but also beyond, taking responsibility for quality assuring the diagnostics and immediate management / habilitation post diagnosis.

From the 1st April 2013 the NHSP became part of the remit of Public Health England (PHE) and the decision was taken to focus resources on the screening element of the programme in the future.  Discussions between the BAA and the NHSP in September 2013 focused on an 18-month period of transition leading to a co-ordinated transfer of roles to the appropriate stakeholders by the 1st April 2015.

The BAA were supportive of this approach and were therefore surprised to learn earlier this month that funding for this work would in fact cease at the end of this financial year and consequently from 31st March 2014 the NHSP will no longer take responsibility for the QA of diagnostic assessment and early habilitation of new-borns beyond the hearing screening process.

The BAA condemn this decision by PHE to withdraw support without first ensuring the transition of QA to the relevant key stakeholders as one that will have a detrimental impact on patient care, increasing the risk of misdiagnosis of hearing impairment of new-borns and compromising the quality of Paediatric Audiology Habilitation in England.

If standards are to be maintained and improved in the future, the BAA believes the development and implementation of a national strategy is essential. The development and implementation of this strategy will require significant resource which is yet to be identified however in order to help facilitate progress on this the BAA have outlined their vision for ensuring quality diagnostics and habilitation of new-borns in the future.

The Vision

The BAA wholeheartedly believes quality should be seen as an imperative and critical element of service provision. Providers are responsible to service users and service commissioners to provide high standards of care. Ownership of this responsibility is an imperative to providing best quality care in the future. Facilitating opportunities for improvement and development of both service and individuals forms part of the remit of BAA but in order to support, maintain and improve quality standards we must first be clear of our vision.

The BAA Vision encompasses five primary objectives;


Key Objectives

1.      Outline and Publish the Primary Standards against which services are to be assessed

The BAA believes that if quality standards are to be improved and consistency in high quality practice is to be observed nationally then it is imperative the primary standards against which services are to be assessed must be updated and published under the ownership of the BAA as the Professional Body. This would ensure that the professional standards of care are the same across the UK.

2.      Identify a suitable system for Audit/ monitoring performance against standards

The BAA is clear that in order to maintain high standards of clinical care, providers must participate in a robust system of quality assessment that monitors their performance against a set of nationally agreed standards.

The NHSP team currently provides this system and the BAA would therefore expect to see an established and robust system for auditing quality take over this responsibility for England. The BAA would envisage this element of work transferring to IQIPS and would continue to support the development of the appropriate standards within such system.  It is envisaged similar systems will be in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure the monitoring of quality standards is the same across the UK.

In their role as a professional body the BAA would take no responsibility for the formal audit or monitoring of provider performance against such standards

3.      Publication of good practice guidance and appropriate clinical protocols/procedures

The BAA is clear that in order to maintain high standards of clinical care, providers must be furnished with appropriate up to date supportive literature and documentation.

Supporting professionals in their clinical practice is a primary function of the BAA as a professional body. The would expect to take a lead role in defining and developing good practice guidance to support providers in their objective to provide a quality diagnostic and early habilitation service post the new-born hearing screen.

In addition the BAA recognise the role the British Society of Audiology (BSA) have historically undertaken in defining clinical procedures. BAA would envisage a continual working relationship with the BSA to ensure appropriate clinical procedures are developed and updated as part of the ongoing remit of the BSA.

4.      Provision for educational support and continual professional development.

The BAA recognises the need for professionals working within the field of Audiology to have access to a multimodal system of education and learning beyond the point of registration. If Quality standards are to improve and be sustained in the future the training and continual professional development and support offered to professionals must be developed and formalised. This will ensure all clinicians managing cases immediately post newborn hearing screen have access to the relevant and appropriate levels of support as defined by BAA as the professional body.

5.      Introduction of National IT solutions for supporting peer review

The BAA recognises the benefit the introduction of peer review has had in improving diagnostics   post newborn hearing screen and is fully supportive of the ABR peer review system. Despite this, in most regions there are no specifically developed IT systems available to support the peer review process. This is considered an unnecessary barrier and limiting factor in promoting the uptake of such a system between professionals. To facilitate greater compliance with the peer review program, the introduction of a national IT system to enable direct upload of diagnostic information for peer review should be sought. This system should be made available for services across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to buy into to facilitate equitable peer review across the UK.

The Strategy

The BAA are explicit in their view that the strategy to achieving their vision will neither be developed or achieved without central investment to pump prime the development of the key infrastructure to support quality assurance beyond new-born screen as outlined in the five key objectives listed above.

The BAA  believe  the NHSP under the responsibility of Public Health England have a duty of care to support the transition of this work and should therefore provide the financial support  to undertake the recruitment  of the required personnel  to support the development and successful implementation of an appropriate strategy to achieve the five key objectives  outlined above.

The BAA will therefore work with other key stakeholders within the profession to drive these objectives forward and ensure safe and effective systems are in place, however we remain explicit in our position that we do not take ownership of the delivery and monitor of quality assurance systems within the profession.

In summary

The BAA recognise the pressure Public Health England are under to standardise screening programmes and make best use of available resources. The decision to withdraw support to QA without facilitating appropriate transition is however a decision the BAA condemns as irresponsible and unjust as it places patients at greater risk of misdiagnosis and harm.

The BAA also recognise the importance of pursuing excellence and ensuring high quality diagnostic and habilitation services are delivered by audiology providers in the UK.  As the largest UK professional body for Audiology professionals we have a responsibility to support our members in their pursuit of excellence. Utilising our position as a professional body to exert influence within the profession with the objective of improving quality remains a priority and fundamental role for BAA.

By setting out our vision for delivery of the Quality Agenda we aim to provide an outline of how we can ensure the delivery of safe and effective services in the future achieving the primary aim of delivering world leading paediatric diagnostic and habilitation services post new-born screen.  

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Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer cmoreport.PNG
Surveillance Volume,
On the State of the Public’s Health

Prof Dame Sally C Davies the CMO for the Department of Health in England has published her annual report and included a asecond edition of the survelliance report first published in 2012. Of particular interest in Audiology is chapter 4 on Sensory Impairment - the full report can be downloaded here

Prof Dame Sally C Davies introduces the report below

My annual report is published in two volumes: one plays out my advocacy role, drawing together academic
experts on a single topic, and the other displays data from a variety of sources to provide a broad brush picture of the nation’s health.

My first surveillance volume, published in November 2012, used innovative techniques to display data on over 130 health topics. This second surveillance volume builds upon the first. It examines six key topics in closer detail, presenting newly compiled data and analyses. It also uses infographics to display data in an ergonomic form and communicate key information at a glance.

All of the data used to produce this report are available at the Department of Health webpages at

to facilitate further exploration and analysis.

Prof Dame Sally C Davies


Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) Update


The response to the feedback on the HSST in Audiological Science was recommended for approval by the Education and Training Scrutiny Group (ETSG) on the 14th January, subject to the outcome of the process to obtain wider feedback.  


This recommendation was ratified by the Healthcare Science Implementation Network Group on the 28th February 2014. 


The wider feedback, and the response to that feedback has been discussed with the Chair of the Specialist Advisory Committee in Audiovestibular Medicine and the paper summarising this is going to ETSG on the 24th March. 


Provided ETSG are happy with the response to the feedback the final draft of the curriculum will be published on NHS networks by the end of March 2014 and any further feedback received and reviewed.


There will then be final proof reading before final versions are made available on NHS networks over the summer.


Alison Walsh

Vice President

British Academy of Audiology

Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS)

Please note that UKAS is looking to recruit individuals wishing to train as assessors for the IQIPS scheme, in particular, urodynamics and audiology (complex adults and paediatrics) specialists.
Individuals wishing to have a chat about the role should contact either Ethna Glean, Accreditation Manager (tel. 0208 917 8509, email: or Kayleigh Gregory, Commercial Team Leader (tel. 020 8917 8428, email:
Dates for the next cohort of pre-training/interviews is currently being arranged for late May 2014 with substantive training during mid-July.





The NHS Atlas of Variation in Diagnostic Services

Introducing the NHS Atlas of Variation in Diagnostic Services, the latest publication in the series of impressive NHS Atlases, which have highlighted variation in the provision of healthcare services.



Scottish Health Service Quality Standards

The service quality standards which are peer audited and peer reviewed in the Scottish Health service are now available to download in the members area of this website on the Service Quality Page.





BAA Response to Adult Hearing Screening for Life Campaign


Summary ‚Äď Adult Hearing Screening

In June 2013 a campaign was launched to carry out a pilot, and then hopefully roll out, a programme
of hearing screening at 65 years of age ‚Äď ‚ÄúHearing Screening for Life‚ÄĚ

It is recognised that many people delay acting on their hearing loss for many years, and that this has significant negative consequences on individuals, their families and wider society.
Hearing screening would allow early identification and early intervention, which would be both highly beneficial and highly cost effective.

The BAA Response to this campaign is a PDF document that can be read in full here

The document begins...

The BAA would welcome early identification and early intervention in age related hearing loss. Our¬†members see on a daily basis the difficulties that people encounter from delays in getting help for¬†their hearing loss ‚Äď whether they have delayed requesting help, their primary care has delayed¬†referral, or other health matters (their own or people for whom they care) have delayed action being¬†taken. We are aware of the scientific research demonstrating the links between hearing loss and a¬†wide variety of conditions, and would welcome the opportunity to assist in improving outcomes¬†holistically for older adults.¬†

The Full BAA Response can be read here


BAA Position Statement on Specialist Commissioning


BAA have responded to the consultation on NHS Specialist Commissioning you can read our response here.

This consultation is still open and we encourage members to respond as well. Details of the consultation are below





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