Nine worthy winners were presented with their awards during the British Academy of Audiology Annual Conference in Coventry on 2nd & 3rd November.

Every year at the British Academy of Audiology Annual Conference, time is taken to celebrate Audiologists and their teams who have excelled and shown exceptional commitment to the Audiology profession over the past 12 months. We would like to acknowledge and celebrate our 2023 champions.

Team of the Year presented to Forth Valley Audiology Department
The Team of the Year award is always a hotly contested prize, with many, many nominees worthy of winning each year. The 2023 Team of the Year is Forth Valley Audiology department, led by Stephanie Doody. This team has been nominated for going above and beyond to ensure they took early steps to review their own practice, services and protocols, following the Lothian report and subsequent National Independent Review of Audiology. They have supported other health boards with long waits, created steering groups across audiology disciplines, created a Communications team, introduced dedicated CPD time for staff, and increased the amount of external training available for staff.

BAA Audiology Clinician of the Year – Catherine Magee
The BAA award for the Audiology Clinician of the Year, in memory of Peggy Chalmers, is an award that recognises an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd in terms of patient care. Catherine Magee was nominated for working tirelessly for both the newborn hearing screening programme and the Northern Care Alliance over the last 18 months. In her NHS England role, she has been instrumental in helping with the data project within smart4hearing, overhauling the guidance documents for clinicians and producing a webinar. She worked on the original NHS England review and has been working with one of the services on their ABR training, embedding their clinical knowledge and protocols into that service. Catherine has been described as “a credit to the profession”.

BAA Supervisor of the year is Karen Nicklin
This award recognises an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd in supervising and supporting a student while on placement. BAA 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.

Karen was nominated for being a selfless individual, always being there to provide a listening ear, helping with any obstacles and offering solutions. She is passionate and dedicated to audiology. She is committed to enhancing individuals’ careers within audiology and is committed to ensuring the team reach and exceed their professional goals. “She really is the best and exemplifies all the attributes a supervisor should possess.”

BAA Paediatric Audiology Clinician of the Year (sponsored by Phonak) is Dr Michelle Foster
This award is aimed at those in any area 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. Michelle was nominated for being instrumental in the support of a Trust identified as an outlier in the review of the NHSP data. She has kept the needs of children and families at the forefront to ensure the service is safe and that the improvements planned for the future are evidence-based. She has supported the trust to commence training, education, national developments, pathway redesign and bookings. She also led improvements in paediatric audiology in the whole region. Her openness throughout this year to reflect upon her own service and continue to improve that from the continual lessons learned throughout the incident review shows true leadership.

Student of the Year (sponsored by Oticon) presented to Rachel Crum
To be chosen as Student of the Year, winners should have made significant contributions to their group, mentored other students, be deaf themselves and overcome barriers to communication to work in the profession, studied against the odds or developed innovative practice or project work. Equally, the student may have achieved a high academic standard that we wish to celebrate and recognise.

Rachel was nominated for consistently demonstrating an exceptional commitment to audiology and exhibiting qualities that make them stand out. She has excelled in academic achievement, but also is an excellent, professional, and empathic clinician. She embodies the qualities of an exceptional student audiologist, and will soon embody the qualities of an exceptional practising audiologist.“

BAA Publication award presented to Dr Jenna Littlejohn
The BAA Publication Award (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.

Dr Littlejohn receives this year’s BAA Publication award for her article in the Spring magazine, which was titled, “The importance of understanding hearing and sight problems and their link to dementia”.

BAA Early clinical researcher award is given to Thomas Underdown
This award winner is selected from all free papers presenting at the BAA conference, delivered by a student or someone in the early stages of their career. And this, the winner is Thomas Underdown for his research presentation, ‘Development and implementation of an audiology-first diagnostic vestibular service’

BAA Higher Training Scheme Award presented to Matthew Shires
The BAA Higher Training Scheme Award is given to the person who has exceptional feedback during the examination process of the Higher Training Scheme. The HTS committee selects the winner based on examination feedback. This year that person is Matthew Shires – congratulations!

Congratulations to all our award winners. We hope to catch up with them all in more detail after the conference.

Applications for the 2024 awards will open in the Summer of 2024.

Poster prizes

Best Clinical/Service Innovation poster winner was awarded to Ryan Kay and Dr Lorraine Lewis, for their poster: Audit into Outcomes Relating to a Primary Care Audiology Pilot in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Best Education/Research poster winner was awarded to Louise Viney and Nicola Partridge for their poster: Capturing young people’s views as they transition to adult services: National Deaf Children’s Society Moving On Survey.