What a fab few days we had in Manchester. We really do hope those that were able to join us enjoyed even half as much as we did.
Our Scientific Programme Committee pulled together two days of superb presentations and education that we believe will have clinical impact, especially as some of our presenters provided access to practical resources that they use everyday in their clinics.
Once again, we provided three parallel tracks, with keynotes, invited speakers and free papers, and a whole track of technology, product, and software updates.
Every year, we strive to ensure our delegates leave the event with a clear idea of how to implement what they hear in their own departments, practice, or career. And we really do hope we achieved that this year. Anecdotal feedback so far has been lovely. Now we just wait for the feedback forms to come to see what you really thought!
Our conference provided sessions on setting hearing aids for adults, outcome measures, cognition and hearing loss, paediatric assessment and early access to sound, paediatric tinnitus management, vestibular assessment and management and non-vestibular sources of dizziness, some cochlear implant presentations, and a dementia keynote. We included a session on Auditory Processing Disorder – due to popular demand – and more information on service innovations, as our professionals continue to evolve their services.
Following a welcome from President Kath Lewis, we were delighted that Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez, Consultant Psychiatrist & Associate Professor at Camden & Islington Foundation Trust | Division of Psychiatry, UCL, delivered the Adrian Davis lecture. Professor Kevin Munro followed, providing a wonderful session looking back at the life of Reverance Professor David Baguley – a very moving ten minutes.
After the first coffee break, we continued in the main hall with our second keynote lecture, delivered by Professor Sophie Scott. Sophie was a popular presenter from 2021 who we just had to invite back. Professor Scott CBE, is Director, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, and provided a lecture on the auditory brain – from sound to meaning. She was also wearing the best sparkly shoes at conference.
We then split into our parallel tracks. In the main hall a session on adult audiology looked at patient-reported outcomes, and then the setting of hearing aids from literature and reality. In the second track, an APD session took place with a diagnostic approach and updates on the latest developments in the assessment and management of APD. Our platinum sponsors, once again, provided the presentations for the third track, providing invaluable information on the latest technology, software, and programmes available for patients.
Following poster viewing, a spot of lunch and exhibition visiting, BAA members were invited to the Annual General Meeting. Members heard from the President and Board of Directors about the past 12 months and the plans for the year ahead. Usually there is a bottle of bubbly hidden under someone’s chair as a surprise, to thank you them for attending the AGM. This year there were two!
Our third keynote speaker took the stage after lunch. Dr Zara Jay, Clinical Psychologist, University College London Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, presented on psychological approaches to supporting those experiencing vestibular symptoms. Dr Zara Jay was a hugely popular presenter in 2021, with many asking us to invite her back. This year Zara started our vestibular session in the main auditorium. We then split into a balance track, with two practical sessions from a vestibular specialist physiotherapist and an audiologist who specialises in the vestibular field in the NHS and private practice. In the parallel track, we looked at the relationship between hearing loss, hearing aid use, and daily-life fatigue, and a session on listening effort. We finished the day with six free paper sessions, from our colleagues and peers in UK Audiology.
The evening party saw 500 of us pop round the corner to Revolution Bar for drinks, food, networking and dancing. The new BAA President was first on the dance floor!
The second day at conference started a little differently this year, with parallel sessions running. Four free papers will be chosen from abstract submissions, followed by talks on implants and paediatric tinnitus assessment and management.
Following the refreshment break, our fourth keynote speaker was Professor Iracema Leroi, Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry, Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College Dublin. Professor Leroi spoke about supporting quality of life through sensory health in people with dementia.
Following the keynote, delegates had a choice between a session on service innovation in audiology and cochlear implantation, a paediatric assessment session with two BAA Board Directors or the sponsor track before lunch, and our final exhibition and poster viewing session.
Our final afternoon session returned to one track for our awards and prize-giving session and our last conference keynote. Dr Paul Johns, a consultant neuropathologist and reader in clinical neuroanatomy at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, closes the conference with our annual Bamford Lecture: Neuroscience of hearing and language: the importance of early access to sound.
New BAA President Samantha Lear officially ended the 2022 conference with her closing remarks, which can be read here in her first President’s Blog.
We just need to say a massive thank you to all our speakers, exhibitors, and our delegates for another fabulous conference. Pictures and presentation recordings will be available soon.