Get the most up to date information on topics and issues that affect our profession and the services we provide.
BAA have today 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.¬†¬†
Hearing providers fight for patients‚Äô needs
The major representative organisations for hospital and community hearing care providers are working together to protect patients‚Äô 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs report is available at http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/commission_on_hearing_loss_final_report
The Five Year Forward View is available at http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf¬†¬†
¬†Proposed decommission of bilateral hearing aids by North Devon CCG
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.
A James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for Mild-Moderate Hearing Loss¬†
Closing date extended to 31st January 2015 - fill it in now¬†
A new survey about prioritising research questions in mild to moderate hearing loss has been launched by the James Lind Alliance (JLA), with the support of our unit in partnership with a number of professional and charitable organisations.¬†
The NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, Hearing Link and the JLA have set up a Priority Setting Partnership to identify unanswered questions for mild-moderate hearing loss; its causes, diagnosis, management and self-management. The Priority Setting Partnership is interested in the views of people who have experienced mild to moderate hearing loss, as well as their friends, family members, and clinicians.¬†
Complete the survey online: http://www.hearinglink.org/james-lind-alliance-priority-setting-partnership
The survey will be open until 31 January 2015 and takes 5-10 minutes to complete.¬†
Or, contact us to request a paper copy:¬†
Email: JLAhearing@nottingham.ac.uk, Tel: 0115 8232600.
Advancing Healthcare awards 2015
Show the world how you make a difference: launching the Advancing Healthcare awards 2015
Allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and those who work alongside them in support roles have until 26 January 2015 to enter the Advancing Healthcare Awards, the unique awards programme which crosses boundaries and fosters partnership working.
This year, with new awards from Public Health England, Academy for Healthcare Science and the Welsh Government, the programme offers a wide range of options for professionals working in all health and social care settings. The NHS Leadership Academy is sponsoring the overall winner so all entrants are invited to show how they match up to their Healthcare Leadership Model. The awards will be presented on 17 April 2015.
¬† ¬†The 2015 awards are:
Awards open to both AHPs and healthcare scientists
- ¬† ¬†
- ¬† ¬†Public Health England Award for Contributions to public health
- ¬† ¬†NHS Employers award for Inspiring the workforce of the future
- ¬† ¬†Unite the Union award for Working together
- ¬† ¬†The Scottish Government's award for Improving quality: measuring and demonstrating impact
- ¬† ¬†The Welsh Government's Prudently advancing practice award
- ¬† ¬†Award for outstanding achievement by a support worker or technician working alongside an ¬† ¬† ¬† AHP or healthcare scientist
- ¬† ¬†GateHouse Rising Star award
Awards open to healthcare scientists only
- ¬† ¬†The Chief Scientific Officer's award for Clinical Leadership
- ¬† ¬†The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine award for Patients as partners in science
- ¬† ¬†The Academy for Healthcare Science award for Innovation
¬† ¬†Awards open to AHPs only
- ¬† ¬†The Chief Health Professions' Officer's award for Clinical Leadership
- ¬† ¬†Allied Health Professions Federation award for integrating care delivery
- ¬† ¬†The Northern Ireland award for Maximising resources for success.
¬† ¬†To enter or for more details go to :
Academy of Healthcare Science Appeal for volunteer assessors.
As you may be aware the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) has developed an equivalence assessment process for Healthcare Science Practitioners and Scientists that will allow successful candidates to be awarded a Certificate of Equivalence and subsequent eligibility to apply to join the appropriate register. Due to the high volume of expressions of interest the AHCS are now seeking additional assessors for both Practitioners and Scientist assessments from the profession of Audiology.
The BAA are therefore seeking volunteer assessors to support the equivalence programme.
Full training will be provided as well as the opportunity to shadow experienced assessors before carrying out an assessment.
We would ask assessors to be able to commit to a minimum of two assessments per year, which equates to approximately 2-4 days. There is the opportunity to carry out more assessments should they wish to. These roles are not remunerated; reasonable expenses will be paid in relation to work undertaken for the AHCS.
Applications are sought from Audiologists who are current members of BAA
If you are interested in supporting both the BAA and the AHCS please contact the BAA sending a brief CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Assessment and management of tinnitus in children¬†
13th and 14th March 2015
Following on from the working group on treating tinnitus in Children and the soon to be published Clinical Practice Guidance, BTA are delighted to be able to announce the first course in the UK aimed at professionals working with children who experience tinnitus.
Professor Adrian Davis OBE
Posted 22nd October 2014
UPDATE Professor Adrian Davis OBE
Proffessor Adrian Davis continues to make excellent progress. He is now at home, where he is receiving the medical and therapy support he needs to continue his very positive recovery.¬†
The next update on this website will very likely be from Adrian himself .
BAA Board Continue to wish Adrian a speedy recovery.
Adrian keeps making¬† positive progress daily.¬†
Keep the news and messages coming.
Sign up now to the open letter to
North Staffordshire CCG
The below letter will be published next week expressing our professional concerns regarding these plans.
As President of the BAA I am calling on you our members and UK Audiology professionals to support the opposition to these plans and add your signature to this open letter.
The process for this is straightforward, you need to email your name and job title to : ¬† ¬†¬†Chris.Wood@hearingloss.org.uk¬†¬†
This must be received no later than Wednesday 10th September.
Register Now for the BAA Trent Regional Meeting
Wednesday 24th September 2014
Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit
12.30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Lunch & Registration
13.30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Welcome & Introduction, Claire Benton
13.40¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Understanding the Teenage Brain
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Di Harbor, Specialist Speech & Language Therapist, The Ear Foundation
14.15¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Transition ‚Äď The role of Hearing Therapy
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Charlotte Rogers, Hearing Therapist, Nottingham Audiology Services
14.45¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Transition within Audiology - developing a multidisciplinary roadshow
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Corinne Bailey, Senior Audiologist, Hinchingbrooke Hosiptal
15.30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre not going to make me wear hearing aids are you?‚ÄĚ Factors affecting
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† adolescent‚Äôs uptake and adherence to aural habilitation
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sonia Aboagye, Higher Specialist Speech & Language Therapist / PhD ¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Student, MRC Institute of Hearing Research
16.00¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Social Care Support for deaf Teenagers
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chris Kang-Mullen, Social Care Policy Advisor, NDCS
16.30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† BAA update & Close, Darren Cordon & Jennifer Richardson
16.45¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† NHBRU Research Meeting
The meeting is free to attend and well attended so if you wish to reserve a place please contact:¬†Darren.email@example.com¬†or¬†Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Register now for the North East Regional BAA meeting
The next North East BAA Regional meeting will be on Friday 10th¬†October 2014 at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and it will be a Paediatric themed full day event sponsored kindly by Phonak. ¬†
NHS England Publishes Advice on ANSD and Cochlear Implantation
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.
UPDATE ON GENERATE:
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.
To participate in the Generate Survey visit: ¬†¬†https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ENTUK_GENERATE
The BTA Annual Conference will be held at the British Library Conference Centre, London on Tuesday 23 September 2014. They are giving away a limited number of free student places so if you are an interested student please contact Krys Klytta on 0114 250 9933 or email@example.com.
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.
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.
- 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)
I do however urge members to visit the North Staffordshire CCG Website and complete the survey prior to the 23rd June 2014
President- British Academy of Audiology
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:http://www.elesurvey.co.uk/f/612008/10fc/
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 Audiology
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‚Äôs wellbeing.
Professor Davis has an honorary chair at University College London in Hearing and Communication.
Posting Hearing Aid Batteries
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.
President - British Academy of Audiology¬†¬†
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.
Dangerous Goods Team
Statement relating to BAA involvement and accountability in relation to the STP Objective Structured Final Assessment (OSFA)
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.
Age UK Response to BAA Letter
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.
What is GENERATE?
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 www.entuk.org. If you are interested in participating or finding out more about GENERATE, please contact Natalie Bohm at email@example.com
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
President- British Academy of Audiology
Changes to the current Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
19th March 2014
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,
William Brassington MSc
President ‚Äď British Academy of Audiology
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 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;
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 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.
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. ¬†
For comments contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer
On the State of the Public‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health
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.
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.¬†Application information can be found at¬†http://www.ukas.com/Careers/Technical_Assessor_Vacancies/IQIPS_Assessors.asp.¬†Individuals wishing to have a chat about the role should contact either Ethna Glean, Accreditation Manager (tel. 0208 917 8509, email:¬†email@example.com)¬†or Kayleigh Gregory,¬†Commercial Team Leader (tel. 020 8917 8428, email:¬†firstname.lastname@example.org).¬†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 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.¬†
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