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

2020/2021 Board Members
President's Blog 14th June

What a busy a couple of weeks since I last wrote my blog.

Thank you to everyone who joined me and my fellow Board Directors for our Member Update webinar last Wednesday. There were lots of topics covered as we tried to give a taster of some of the workstreams we have been focused on over the last few months. If you were not able to join us live, then the recording is available to view again in the Knowledge Hub in the members’ area of this website. Head over there when you get some time as you will find lots of interesting recordings from regional meetings and webinars with our partners, such as the Ida Institute.

EDIA and the BAA

Our Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility committee have been busy behind the scenes, preparing a survey which I would ask you to give ten minutes to completing. This membership survey asks you some personal information about your ethnic origin, faith, gender, marital status and sexual orientation. We understand if you are not comfortable providing this information. You can answer ‘prefer not to say’ to any of our questions. We do ask that if you do not wish to answer these questions, to still complete the survey and answer ‘prefer not to say’, rather than not responding at all to help us better understand your views.

Your valuable input will be used to identify areas of development within the BAA and audiology as a whole and ensure that we make changes that benefit our members. This survey is anonymous, and all information you provide will be held in strict confidence, in line with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

BAA Annual Conference

I am delighted that registration for the 2021 BAA Annual Conference opened last Monday. Covid-allowing, we will be face-to-face in Manchester. I love our webinars but after nearly 18 months of online meetings and webinars, I would really like to see our members (and non-members) in person for a change.

The conference team have been super busy and have pulled together a super line of keynote and guest speakers. If you have not already looked at the programme, please have a look through here. To support you, our members, we have put together a limited offer to attend conference. The first 75 members who book for full conference, will be offered an additional place to bring a colleague for free! For less than £200, two of you can spend two days soaking up hours of CPD, education and research, enjoy the company of like-minded colleagues from across the UK and find out what is going on in other departments and practises.

The portal to submit your abstracts has also opened. Please make sure you get these into us by 21st July, for the opportunity to present either your poster or a presentation to your peers.

And last but not least, why not nominate a colleague or your team for an award. Have a look through the six award categories here. I hope to see you in Manchester in November and perhaps hand an award to you?

Clear facemasks

I attended another meeting last week about the availability of clear masks. I am delighted that the next step has been taken with the issuing of a tender to supply product through NHS SC.

As many of you will be aware, work has been ongoing since the Covid-19 pandemic began to find a suitable mask to aid lipreading and communication in the healthcare setting. The head of mask procurement for the Department of Health has been personally involved for 12 months in seeking a solution. Many problems have been encountered along the way, with the main issue being masks failing to meet standards. After discussions with manufacturers of FFP3 masks, the procurement team have 3 standards that need to be met and are now going out to the global market to tender. The team are also looking at reusable options.

There will be a more detailed update from me in the forthcoming members’ magazine and more information on the clear facemasks will be uploaded to the website soon.

Stay safe and stay well.

Kath Lewis

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.