The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall strategic and operational work of the BAA. Board Directors are both responsible for specific work areas and act as a liaison between a committee or workgroup. The current Board has 13 Directors supported by our Marketing & Communications Manager and our PA. The Board meets quarterly and holds an annual strategy day to review the forward plan. Board minutes are published on the BAA website.

Executive Team

During the last eighteen months, we have developed a more active executive team to focus and maintain momentum between Board meetings. The President meets regularly with the Vice President, Past President and Comms Executive. Each member of the executive team holds lead responsibilities for key objective areas and in supporting other Board
Directors. These areas of responsibility are –

• President – Chairs the Board, is President and supports the Board Directors for EAR, Membership and Early Profs
• Vice President – Supports the President and supports the Board Director for SQC
• Past President – Board Director for Regional Groups, and supports the Board Directors for Conference and Pubs & Comms

2021/2022 Board Members
President's Blog 16th May 2022

As always, and as it should be, your Board has a lot of work going on. Recent weeks have been partnership and paediatric focussed.

I have been privileged to attend the recent Paediatric Focus Day in Milton Keynes and met the 75 Audiologists who attended, many familiar and some new faces. Although we are not trying to teach anything new or radical, the main focus was on what is acceptable, to standard, and being able to think outside the rules when needed. We want these days to be open, honest and provoke discussion, and that is exactly what happened, proving there are no strict rules as to what you do in what order. We learn the prescriptive ways in our early role development, but as we develop our skills and knowledge, we start to think more widely. It is what is best to do at that moment when you are in the clinical setting with the child and parents. It demonstrates clearly that continuing professional development and networking with peers is critical in developing ourselves and services, and hence providing the best for our patients and stakeholders.

HTS is one way to develop postgraduate, and we are delighted to launch a pilot for ‘equivalence’ for those who have been working in the profession for a certain time, and have never had the chance to attend post grad courses. Look out for all the information on the website.

Don’t forget, we also have the paediatric webinars. The recordings are in the Knowledge Hub here.

I attended the BCIG Conference in Cardiff on the 26th and 27th April, which was well attended by nearly 200 delegates from Implant centres across the UK and the Implant manufacturers and charitable bodies. It was a great conference at which Martin O’Driscoll from the Richard Ramsden Centre for Implants at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, launched the CI module on the HTS programme, so thanks to Martin for this. Thanks to Rebecca Anderson and her team at BCIG for a successful two days.

We also got to speak to many of the delegates, which was great for me. Comments from some ENT Consultants included thanks to the BAA for launching the CI Champion Programme. For this we have to thank Martin O’Driscoll, Anne-Marie Dickinson and Unai Martinez de Estibariz from BCIG. There was a CI Champion session on the first day, which I sat in. It was good to hear what the manufacturers are doing to support the Champions.

I also attended the North East regional meeting, and the topics were timely in light of mental health week last week. Resilience was a feature, and I took copious notes to share with my team. Catch it on the website if you missed it.

I am now looking forward to meeting our Northern Ireland (and some of our Eire members) on the 17th May in Belfast for our next Paediatric Focus Day. We are hijacking their regional meeting for this, but I am sure our NI Rep, Mandy, will forgive us!

The Scottish Audiology Review Group held its first meeting last week, and BAA is represented on the group by Claire Benton and me. We are there to support our Scottish colleagues and get the best outcomes for them for the future. Many of us have workforce issues, and this is something we are working with our partners on.

Let’s hope we have some good weather and start enjoying the outdoors again – all good for our mental health, especially when many of us spend lots of time in front of a computer screen!

Take care

Kath Lewis

*Please contact Kath on about any of the points above

Board Annual Awards

British Academy of Audiology Annual Awards

Every year at the BAA annual conference, we take the time to acknowledge those individuals and teams who have excelled or shown exceptional commitment to the Audiology profession over the past year.

Previous award winners can be found here.

The BAA award for the Audiologist of the Year, in memory of Peggy Chalmers, recognises an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd with regards to patient care. We look for an individual who has gone above and beyond to put the patient first, or improve their experience in even a small way, making a significant difference to them. This award is focused on patient care and we particularly welcome testimonials and case studies from patients, or colleagues, highlighting the reasons their Audiologist should be nominated.

Peggy Chalmers contributed immeasurably to audiology in many ways, improving professional standards and training and supporting hundreds of students from the UK and overseas. Her hard work and enthusiasm inspired many professionals in Audiology and with this award, we hope each winner will continue to inspire with their excellent work.

The BAA Team of the Year Award was created in 2004 to celebrate the coming together of the different professions within Audiology. The prize is awarded to a team which has worked together to improve the quality of service in their area. Teams which work within an audiology department, in education, in research, or in an organisational capacity are all eligible. Past winners have shown particularly innovative and original ideas or worked on a specific project directly connected to audiology. Anyone can make a nomination, the winning team is chosen by the BAA board and will have the opportunity to share their accomplishments via the BAA magazine.

Lisa Bayliss was a 20-year old student Audiologist working at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Sadly, in 1992, Lisa’s life was tragically taken on her way home from work. Lisa is greatly missed by all who met her but especially her family, colleagues and her patients. Lisa was kind, caring and worked well with everyone she met. She was described as a great people person. When it was suggested that an award be named in her honour, it came as no surprise that the award would be given to someone who showed the qualities Lisa possessed in abundance.

The Lisa Bayliss award was traditionally given to the student who performed best at the BAAT part 2 practical exam. With the introduction of the BSc, the award is now given to the student who performs the best during their BSc (PTP) placement.

The BAA award for the Placement Supervisor of the Year recognises an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd with regards to supervising and supporting a student while on placement. We look for an individual who has gone above and beyond to provide a supportive learning environment on placement for students, providing leadership and guidance as well as inspiration. The award is focused on the mentoring of students and we particularly welcome testimonials and case studies from student, colleagues and university placement teams highlighting the reason a particular audiologist should be nominated.

The award is given in honour of Paul Doody, an extraordinary Audiologist who was totally committed to training; he made a huge difference in the lives of numerous Audiologists. Shortly before the 2016 annual conference and after organising the Associate lecture track for the conference, Paul sadly passed away. Although he would not consider this an honour or indeed necessary, his family, friends and colleagues strongly disagree with him. They and the BAA Board feel he had the qualities all nominees for this award should aspire to.

This award, sponsored by Phonak, is for Audiologists working in the field of paediatrics who, it is felt, have influenced the audiological world. We welcome nominations from colleagues, patients and families highlighting why this person stands out from the crowd. We just ask that the nominated Audiologist has worked in their current position for at least six months.

The Student of the Year, sponsored by Oticon, is presented to the student who has achieved academic success in their course, particularly in their final dissertation. This award is open to students on all audiology courses leading to qualification or registration. All High Education Institutes will be invited to nominate students who they feel have achieved a high standard of work in their course. These students will be invited to submit an abstract on their dissertation to be judged by a panel.

The Jos Millar Shield is a long-standing award given each year for the best contribution to a BAA publication. The recipient is chosen from all articles printed in the previous year’s magazine and newsletter and is chosen by the publicity and communications team.

Jos Millar started his career in audiology at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. He had an interest in sound and radio and when an opportunity within audiology came along, he moved to this field and went to Manchester to complete his training. He was always fond of paediatric audiology so returned to the Royal Belfast Hospital for sick children. Later in his career he embarked on a new challenge to set up a paediatric service in his home town of Ballymena.

With his dedication to Audiology, it was only fitting for an award to be named in his honour.