In mid-April, the Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance strategy group met face-to-face for the first time since pre-Covid days. In the room were representatives of the BAA, the BIHIMA, RNID, NDCS, the BDA and the NCHA.
Each organisation had to suggest up to three outcomes/priorities they would like the Alliance to work on in the coming months.
BAA identified the key problems to be addressed for the audiology profession, which impact patient care, from board opinion, workshops, member feedback, service issues, etc. The priorities we suggested were:
Workforce shortages affecting both the NHS and private sector. Insufficient number of audiology graduates entering the workforce. Over half of audiology graduates are no longer working in the NHS after 5 years. Coupled with an ageing workforce and ageing population, demand rapidly outstripping capacity.
Audiology does not have mandatory service accreditation or other quality assurance scheme. Consequently, there is limited IQIPs accreditation uptake, and quality assurance is highly variable and suboptimal within Audiology across both the NHS and private sector provision.
Professional registration provides some assurance that a clinician is appropriately qualified/trained, engages professionally with a mandatory body, has a code of practice etc, and can be reported/ investigated if there are concerns. Clinical Scientists and Hearing Aid dispensers must register with HCPC, but for audiologists, registration is not mandatory.
Find out more about the Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance here