Get the most up to date information on topics and issues that affect our profession and the services we provide.
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 Healthcare Science research Fellowship Schemes¬†
Closing date 28th May 2014¬†
http://www.nihrtcc.nhs.uk/hcs/ visit the website for application details
The Healthcare Science research fellowship schemes support the development of research infrastructure, capacity and capability in healthcare science.
The Fellowships are intended to support individuals in the NHS healthcare science workforce who wish to bridge clinical/service careers and research.
Applications are invited from individuals working in the areas of¬†biology, physiology, physics and engineering¬†including the nine healthcare science cognate themes of:
Cardiac, critical care, vascular, respiratory and sleep sciences;
Neurosensory sciences [audiology, neurophysiology and ophthalmic and vision sciences]
Clinical Bioinformatics including Genomics
Medical physics including clinical pharmaceutical science
Clinical engineering including reconstructive science
BAA Trent Regional Meeting takes to Twitter
The regional meeting took place on Wednesday 12th March 2014
During the meeting there was a little bit of twitter chat on the key topics you can search #baatrm on www.twitter.com to see the key messages from the meeting.
SEARCH BEGINS FOR UK‚ÄôS TOP AUDIOLOGISTS
The search has begun for the UK‚Äôs best hearing professionals as the 2014 Audiologist of the Year (AOTY) opens for entries. The competition encourages patients to nominate their audiologists who have provided exceptional levels of support and service.
Now in its seventh year, AOTY is run in partnership between Rayovac, the leading hearing aid battery manufacturer, Audio Infos, the international hearing publication and the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), which represents the six major European hearing instrument manufacturers.
Audiologist of the Year celebrates hearing professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, in order to provide their patients with a level of care which exceeds their expectations. It is a great way for these patients to give back to their audiologist, and say thank you for the great work they‚Äôve done.
The winner of the UK stage of the competition will then compete with top audiologists from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands and ‚Äď for the first year ‚Äď Denmark and Switzerland, to battle it out for the title of European Audiologist of the Year.
2014‚Äôs lucky winner will follow in the footsteps of current champion, Jaspreet Bahra, from Harley Street Hearing in London. Jaspreet was awarded the UK crown after her patient, Warren Stapely, submitted a heartfelt nomination which wowed judges. Jaspreet was later crowned the European winner, attending Rayovac‚Äôs annual Evening of Excellence in Nuremberg, Germany for the announcement.
Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: ‚ÄúWe are thrilled to be opening up entries to the Audiologist of the Year competition for the seventh year running. Each year the calibre of entries just gets better and better, and we thoroughly enjoy reading everyone‚Äôs nominations.
‚ÄúThe number of entries and the remarkable stories behind each one, are testament to the passionate, enthusiastic practitioners helping people with hearing loss across Europe, and we‚Äôre proud to be able to help showcase and reward such talent.‚ÄĚ
On supporting Audiologist of the Year for the first time, Secretary General of the EHIMA, S√łren Hougaard, said: ‚ÄúWe are very excited to be working with Rayovac and Audio Infos to support the Audiologist of the Year competition for the first time. The competition has grown to be a phenomenal success and one we‚Äôre proud to support and promote to our members so it can continue to get even bigger and better.‚ÄĚ
The winning professional will be awarded the prestigious title of Audiologist of the Year along with a ¬£250 cash prize. Alongside this, the winner‚Äôs nominating patient will also be eligible for a cash prize and a package of electrical goods worth ¬£200.
The Audiologist of the Year competition, which began in 2008, is the leading industry award for hearing professionals and is judged by a panel of independent industry experts. All nominations are scored anonymously, with judges looking for audiologists which demonstrate:
- Outstanding commitment to the patient
- Support for the patient and family
- Making a difference to the patient‚Äôs life
- Knowledge about new technologies
- Working closely with other specialists, providing a team approach
- Working with-in the community/industry to raise awareness of hearing matters
Entries can be submitted online at www.audiologistoftheyear.co.uk or via post to Audiologist of the Year 2014, Spectrum Brands (UK) Ltd, Washington, Tyne & Wear, NE37 3HW. Entries close on 11th July 2014. All nominations must be submitted by patients, but audiologists can ensure their patients are aware of the competition by downloading promotional materials from the competition website.
For more information about the competition, visit www.audiologistoftheyear.co.uk, like Rayovac on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HearingwithRayovac or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HearwithRayovac.
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