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Once again this year, at conference, we held our annual Award Ceremony celebrating a wide range of achievements within our profession. This year there were seven awards in total, six of which are open for nominations. Thank you to all those who took the time to nominate their colleagues, it truly does make for a delightful read as we put out the nominations to those voting. Finding out what some of our members are achieving through these nominations is inspiring to say the least. All of the winners commented that ‘they were only doing their job’, the nominations clearly show that they have had a significant impact on colleagues and patient’s lives. Please take the time to read about them, perhaps you can think of someone who should be nominated next year?
Here are our winners with details of their nominations.
Lisa Bayliss Award
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 winner of the Lisa Bayliss award is Rachel Gomez.
Rachel, an STP audiology student at Aston University, completed her clinical placement and research project at the Nottingham Audiology Services and NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Unit between 2014 and 2017, supervised by Jennifer Parker-George and Mel Ferguson. Throughout her time in Nottingham, Rachel showed an enormous drive to ensure that she not only successfully
completed her academic, clinical and research studies on time, in some difficult personal circumstances, but she also did so to an extremely high standard.
During her clinical placement, Rachel went above and beyond what would be expected of an STP trainee. She fully integrated herself within the team andshe led departmental audit and service development projects, which were not required as part of her studies. Throughout her work-based placement, Rachel displayed dedication and commitment to her studies and her patients. Rachel is
passionate about her work and clearly driven to ensure she delivers the best possible patient care.
Rachel came to her research project with some very clear ideas on the concept of self-efficacy from health and social psychology, and how this might be enhanced in adult hearing aid users to provide better patient outcomes. Working closely with Mel, she developed her own research ideas, questions and protocol. As Rachel was very clear that she wanted to do a clinical research project that involved clinic patients, this meant she had to obtain ethics via the new, fully revised NHS HRA ethics system. Through no fault of Rachel’s the approvals took ages to complete, and so Rachel was under great pressure to complete the randomised controlled study of over 55 patients, with 2 clinic visits each, in 2.5 months. While Mel was working out a Plan B as this looked an impossible
task, was Rachel fazed? Nope, she rolled up her sleeves, and used all her diplomatic and negotiation skills, working closely with the NAS audiologists and admin staff to ensure all the data were collected in time. It was a masterclass in organisational skills. She completed the statistical analysis using SPSS andhad some really great results. C2Hear at assessment improves knowledge and
self-efficacy for hearing aids at fitting – the potential for benefit is great. We are planning to publish the results in the International Journal of Audiology. Rachel displayed hard work, intelligence, and sheer bloody-minded determination alongside her clinical audiology skills – Rachel’s approach was
Audiologist of the Year Award in Memory of Peggy Chalmers
The BAA award for the Audiologist of the Year, in memory of Peggy Chalmers, is an award that will recognise an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd with regards to patient care. We are looking 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 difference to them. The 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 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 has inspired many professionals in Audiology and with this award we hope each winner will continue to inspire with their excellent work.
The winner of the Audiologist of the Year award is Wendy Stevens
Wendy stands out in our care giving profession as someone who cares very deeply for the welfare of those that might be considered more vulnerable than others.
She currently works as a Lecturer and one of the areas she teaches on is the welfare of those patients with mental health and learning difficulties. To this end she encourages young learners to engage with these patients groups whenever appropriate to gain a better understanding of their needs and challenges the common perception of these patients groups. She is often heard discussing why Downs Syndrome might be looked at alternatively as 'Up - Syndrome' with students, service users and policy makers/commissioners.
On top of a busy work and home life Wendy is the Clinical Director UK for Hearing in the Healthy Athlete initiative of the Special Olympics. This organisation meets every 4 years for those with intellectual disabilities of all ages and abilities to come together and compete in some 19 sports. This year, for the second time, Wendy used several weeks of her own free time to attend a training camp at the worlds Special Olympics in Austria to gather knowledge and resources for the UK event held in Sheffield. Wendy then recruited undergraduate students, graduates, and Clinical staff from across the UK and from both the NHS and private sector to help provide the testing, care and advice given to almost 400 athletes. Many of these were to found to need additional Audiology or Medical care.
This also provided an opportunity to raise awareness with family members, volunteers and coaching staff (and those from other health related programmes involved such as Opening Eyes, Special Smiles etc.) about the potential issues that arise from undiagnosed/untreated hearing loss.
Under Wendy’s guidance students and recent graduates gained invaluable experience of working with this patient group and conducting PTAs, tymps, screening OAEs and hearing aid maintenance.
On top of this Wendy had previous been recognised for her teaching efforts by being voted as a runner up in the 2016 Guardian Higher Education Network Teaching Excellence for organising students and volunteers to provide free hearing screening in the community. Also Wendy was nominated for an ‘OSCAR’ by her employer for her contribution to internationalism for the work she did in 2016 in delivering free hearing tests and Hearing Aids to children and adults in an extremely poor area of Gujarat in India. This also involved providing training to students in various audiological measures in a very different environment to what they would usually be exposed to in the UK.
Wendy’s drive and passion for her profession has not only brought immeasurable benefit to service users but has helped to challenge and shape the perception and skills of new generations of Audiologists over many years and is justly deserving of recognition for this.
As you can imagine this all takes up a lot of her spare time but Wendy being of good Yorkshire stock still manages to be a wife/mother/grandmother to her family and an avid Sheffield Wednesday and Thornton’s Chocolate fan!
Team of the Year Award
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.
The Team of the Year award winners are NHS Tayside.
NHS Tayside Audiology has had a year that has brought them closer together as a team which has in turn improved patient services across the board.
The department has an extensive Adult Rehabilitative, Paediatric and Vestibular Audiology service under one roof. This allows for close collaborations between teams and sleek multidisciplinary working. The department has a focus on quality improvement and has been looking at ways to improve the patient journey, trying out new pathways within the service.
One such pathway is that for vestibular patients suffering with Vestibular Neurits and Labyrinthitus. It was noted that these patients had continued repeat journeys and appointments for assessment and diagnosis as well as long initial waits due to the pressures on the ENT waiting list. Audiology in Tayside had already coped well with a direct access service for BPPV patients
and it was proposed that if Audiology took over the care of Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis patients this could reduce wait times and the burden on ENT. The aim of this project was to establish using process mapping techniques if a new pathway for patients with Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis led by Vestibular Audiologists rather than ENT Consultants was beneficial for this patient demographic.
A Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model was used as a framework to look at the system as a whole and establish the benefits of system redesign. A Hierarchical Task Analysis mapped the patient pathway for the ENT led clinic and compared this to the Audiologist led pathway. A systematic Human Error and Reduction and Prediction Approach was used to identify any errors in the system and a clinical audit of the Audiologist led clinic was performed. The most obvious finding from the Hierarchical Task Analysis is a reduction from 22 steps to 8 steps in the clinical pathway for the patients attending Audiology. Removing these unnecessary steps resulted in a reduced wait time for patient, reduction in referrals and handovers and less error risk in the shorter pathway. The DNA rate of the newly designed clinic was 3.74% and the average wait for the patient from referral to treatment was 37 days, a third of the 110 day wait that patients would expect on the ENT clinic. Results indicate that Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis patients can be well managed by Vestibular Audiologists without medical intervention from ENT. Understanding the patient journey and clinical process has proved vital in the department’s ability to improve patient care and outcomes. The task analysis has engaged clinicians and management and highlighted opportunities to improve patient care by utilising the skills mix available. NHS Tayside Audiology is currently the only department in Scotland to run this clinic but it is hoped that the evidence obtained in this project and the task analysis can help to disseminate it across Scotland. The project has resulted in the department being short listed for the Advancing Healthcare Awards Innovation in Practice award and receiving the NHS Tayside innovation in practice award.
Paul Doody Supervisor of the Year Award
This year, the BAA Board have decided to rename this award. It is now the Paul Doody Supervisor of the Year award. Paul was an extraordinary Audiologist and totally committed to training, he made a huge difference to the lives of numerous Audiologists. Sadly, shortly before last year's conference and after organising the Associate track for us, Paul passed away. Although he himself 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 all the qualities all nominees for this award should aspire to.
This award will recognise an Audiologist who stands out from the crowd with regards to supervising and supporting a student while on placement. We are looking 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 winner of the Paul Doody Supervisor of the Year award is Jenny Townsend.
Jenny has been an OUTSTANDING supervisor. I would not have made it this far in the STP programme without her. Her support, knowledge and skills has inspired and given me hope of what I can attain one day as she is an excellent example of a Clinical Scientist and manager. Despite not being my dissertation supervisor, she helped me so much in my research project. I personally find research hard but Jenny has an AuD and she used her skills to guide in getting help with the statistics, proof-reading several versions for me and giving me specialist advice on my research topic. The help and support I received from her was crucial to the success of my dissertation in which I received a Merit for, 1% off a distinction. For this I will be eternally grateful because the area in which I struggled in the most i.e. research I was able to do very well in.
As my supervisor, she ensured that I was going to be given a fair chance in completing my STP programme and thus the development of my practice. Following the death of my mother she took it upon herself to write a supporting statement and encourage me to apply for an extension and supported me throughout the whole process as my practice was affected due to the bereavement. For this I will forever be grateful, as she went over and beyond what I expected. She supported me not only clinically but also emotionally.
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New Award for 2017
BAA/Phonak Paediatric Audiologist of the Year
This award, new for 2017, is for audiologists working in the field of paediatrics. It is aimed at those in any area of paediatrics who, it is felt, have influenced the audiological world. We welcome nominations from colleagues or patients and families highlighting why this person stands out from the crowd. We just stipulate that the nominated audiologist has worked in their current position for at least 6 months. Nominations will be judged by a panel including the Bamford Lecturer, a member of the Phonak UK Professional Services team and the BAA Board.
The winner will hold the title and trophy of “BAA/Phonak Paediatric Audiologist of the Year” and will also be invited to write an editorial feature in the BAA Magazine.
The winner of BAA/Phonak Paediatric Audiologist of the Year is Adam Walker.
All of Adam’s nominations came from the patients and families he sees, here is a selection of what they had to say:
“Adam has been the kindest and most understanding person during our journey through hearing loss with our son. He always responds to our concerns-however trivial they are with understanding and logic. During the process of initial diagnosis he rang me to see how I was coping and thought nothing of being on the phone for half an hour answering my endless concerns. When it comes to interacting with our son, he is brilliant. Down to earth, playful, friendly, age appropriate in his conversation. If I could attach a photo it would show Adam sitting at his computer re-tuning our sons hearing aids with plastic rings balanced on his head and our son giggling next to him. Our son loves going to see Adam.”
“Adam is brilliant with my daughter when she attends for her audiology appointments. Adam is always jolly and friendly and makes a connection with her immediately. She thinks he is funny and is able to chat to him straightaway which also helps Adam assess her hearing abilities without her knowing. Adam explains everything clearly to my daughter and also clearly to her parents. He is very caring and understanding and explains issues so we can understand them but also so that the children can understand them. He gives advice and information which we wouldn't be aware and wouldn't be able to access anywhere else. He always replies to emails and will arrange for my daughter to be seen immediately if there is a problem. My daughter looks forward to her hearing assessments and seeing Adam. She talks about Adam always in positive terms and as a result she had a positive attitude towards her hearing issues.”
“When our son George was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth we knew nothing about how to support him. Thankfully under Adam's care he has flourished and is now a very happy 6 year old. Adam's positivity and the way he has shared knowledge with us over this time has kept us brilliantly informed. More importantly, he has helped George to feel very positive about his "cans". Adam has encouraged him to make choices about the design & has always talked to George about the testing. He has always been able to reassure him and answer all our questions honestly & openly. Whenever we have been in the clinic for testing we always leave with a positive spirit and a feeling that Adam & the team feel George is as important as we do. We couldn't ask for any more from an audiologist.” “Adam's commitment to his patients, the support they feel by having him to talk to and his evident care and interest in my nephew have been pivotal in my Brother and sister in law's foray into the world of audiology. They couldn't have had a more caring and lovely practitioner at what has been a very concerning time for the family.”
“Adam is the perfect children's audiologist - you can tell he loves children and has a lovely rapport with my daughter who always looks forward to her appointments with Adam because he makes her laugh. He has a genuine interest in the whole family, not just Niamh, and our appointments are always relaxed, never rushed, and we never feel like we are in a hospital. If we need to come in for something urgent Adam will make time to fit us in somewhere even if the appointment book is already full. He's a genuine asset to the audiology department at Trafford General and that is why I think Adam should win Audiologist of the Year “
“Adam is my audiologist (I'm 11 years old). I think he is a fantastic audiologist. He is always friendly and always has a chat with me (though it is a shame he supports Liverpool FC!). What I like about Adam is that he always listens to me and treats me like a grown up, not a little child. He has helped me with so many things. Once I asked to see him and he explained all about my deafness to me so I could understand better. I like him because he's like a scientist and that's what I want to be. I've asked Adam to explain about cochlear implants to me, so he is going to have a chat with me in 2 weeks time about them. I just email Adam any time and he'll email me back or agree to see me. I'm glad Adam is my audiologist. I think I have the best!”
“I have always felt incredibly lucky that Adam is my son Ted's audiologist. Since Ted was diagnosed as deaf as a newborn, Adam has provided him with an absolutely exceptional level of support. My son adores Adam and really looks forward to his appointments! Adam is extremely generous with his time - he has put so much effort into building a great relationship with Ted, and always makes himself available to answer any and all queries; if I have a worry about Ted's hearing, I always feel better after discussing it with Adam! I have complete confidence that Adam will always provide Ted with the highest level of care and will always act in his best interests.”
“I would like to nominate Adam, for the Paediatric Audiologist of the Year Award. Adam is a caring professional. He has been looking after my daughter Emma for the past 3 years. He goes above and beyond his duty, and is always willing to answer our questions, and help us understand Emma's hearing loss. He is very dedicated and helpful: When my second daughter, Samantha was born, he made sure she was tested as soon as possible as he knew we were anxious due to our previous experience with Emma. I will always be grateful for his patience and support during that time. Just so you know how lovely Adam is, I need to tell you that Emma loves going to her appointments. Adam (and everyone at the Audiology Department) always make her feel welcome and special. Last time he managed to test Emma's hearing while my noisy 2 years old played happily (he pretended to be testing her as well) It put a smile on my face, and it definitely made my girls feel very happy. Adam is respected by peers and patients. He is Chair of our local Children's Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG). And I have seen him sharing his knowledge and experience with colleagues. I believe he is a great mentor. Above all, Adam is a kind individual and I hope he is awarded for his excellent work and dedication.”
We received a large number of nominations for this award and the judges voted for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. We are pleased to announce that Ruth Edgar, Kings Cross Hospital, came second and David Comisky, Victoria Hospital Kirkcaldy, came third.
The NEW Oticon Student of the Year Award
The Oticon student of the year award is presented every year to the student who has achieved academic success in their course, particularly in their final dissertation. This is open to students on all audiology courses leading to qualification or registration. All Higher Education Institutes will be invited to nominate students who they feel have achieved a high standard of work in their course; these students will then be invited to submit an abstract on their dissertation to be judged by a panel.
The winner will hold the title and trophy of “BAA/Oticon student of the Year” along with a cash prize and an all expenses trip to the the renowned Eriksholm International Summer Camp (sample video below) where they will listen, observe and learn together with forging lifelong contacts and friendships.
The winner of the Oticon Student of the Year award is Bethany Plain.
Abstract: Investigation into whether anthropometric measurements are repeatable, clinically feasible and accurate in predicting RECDs.
Other awards not open for nomination:
The Jos Millar Shield Award
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.
Within his long standing dedication to Audiology, it was only fitting for an award to be named in his honour. 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.
The winner of the Jos Millar Shield award is Rachel McCarthy.
Conference 2017 Poster Prizes
- 1st place Clinical Paper Poster - Kerry Le Roux with “Audit of a new pilot congenital CMV screening pathway in a large London hospital: 2014-2016 - does it work?”
- 1st place Research Paper Poster - Catherine George with “Listening to patients with Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media”
- 1st place Student Poster – Alexandra Lusty with “Characteristics of performing the TEN test in children with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss”
Article: Working Well with Trusts and Commissioners
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