Speaker Abstracts and Biographies

The 'Adrian Davis lecture' given this year by Professor Kevin Munro - The evidence base for clinical practice


The importance of research for achieving better health outcomes has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearing healthcare practitioners/scientists use research findings to modernise practice and improve outcomes. This may involve you as:

1. CONSUMER: reading research studies and implementing in practice;
2. CONTRIBUTOR: recruiting research participants; and
3. CONDUCTOR: undertaking research.

Active engagement in research is crucial because studies have shown that patients have better outcomes in research-active hospitals. While some healthcare professionals engage in research, we know this can be a challenge. A recent survey by BSA/BAA confirms common barriers as lack of time, funding, support and opportunities. However, DHSC and NIHR want clinical research is to be embedded into the daily lives of patients and health professionals.

How do you know when research is high quality? Drawing on examples from the audiology literature, this presentation will highlight: (i) key elements that define the quality of a study, (ii) checklists to assess the quality of the evidence, and (iii) guidance on how to implement in practice. “Open Science” practices to minimise publication bias will be described.  We will discuss what changes are required in order to meaningfully embed research into practice and provide tips for your own practice.


Ewing Professor of Audiology, Director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD), Deputy Director of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, and theme lead for Hearing Health. Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist at Manchester NHS Trust. The only audiologist to be awarded NIHR Senior Investigator status; Principal Fellow of the British Society of Audiology; Expert Advisor for the NICE Centre for Guidelines; member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Australian National Acoustic Laboratories. He is Chair of the North West NIHR Research for Patient Benefit panel.

Pivot to the future - how can we make the new NHS work for us? Dr Patricia Oakley


Coping with the impact of the pandemic has consumed much of the funds and intellectual resources of the NHS. Meanwhile, the government has continued to invest in Big Science and Big Data, particularly in the domains of diagnostics and imaging, and in new therapeutics and surgical interventions. Centres of Excellence in AI-machine learning and predictive analytics have been commissioned to show how the services in these domains might be improved by developing their clinical informatics and modelling capability.

Amazon Web Services and their data lake and warehouse management expertise, and Google’s Deep Mind and quantum computing capability, are developing analytical depth and computational speed rapidly. Their services will be part of the NHS’s research infrastructure of the future.

The question for this conference is how the BAA can facilitate the development of a Centre(s) of Excellence in Audiology which embraces these advances to build an in-depth research and analytics base from where good practices can be developed and disseminated.


Dr Patricia Oakley PhD (Organisational Psychology), MBA (London), MA (Victorian Studies), BSc (Pharmacy), Dip. Hist. Med. (SA), MRPharmS.

Dr Patricia Oakley, Director, Practices Made Perfect Ltd., is a recently retired Strategic Service and Workforce Policy Analyst, and Workforce Research Fellow at King’s College, London University. She is now writing historical fiction novels about medical politics at work in hospitals.
Previous experience includes supporting: DH, HEE and NHS England’s Policy Programmes: Children’s and Young People’s Services Workforce Review; 7 Day Services Workforce Review; Cardiac Care and Echo Services Workforce Review; the Genomics Workforce Strategy; and the role of predictive analytics in scheduling urgent care.

Tinnitus Update - Professor David Baguley

This presentation will be a pre-record.


Remote support for people with tinnitus: not just for pandemics? Colette Bunker and Dr Lucy Handscomb


At the start of the pandemic, the BTA was very concerned about people with tinnitus being cut off from their usual sources of support, both from tinnitus clinics and from support groups. Appointments and meetings were cancelled or postponed indefinitely as the UK entered national lockdown. The BTA responded rapidly by increasing the amount of support available online.

We focus here on two new types of intervention; online workshops and support groups. The aim of the workshops was primarily to educate people about tinnitus and introduce them to effective management strategies while the support groups aimed to bring people together to share experiences and tips. Both formats were evaluated in a qualitative interview study, which found that participants gained increased knowledge about tinnitus and improved management strategies. People valued feeling supported by others with tinnitus and interacting with a facilitator who they perceived as knowledgeable, skilled and trustworthy.

Our research found that people perceived advantages to meeting online- such as increased accessibility and ability to share useful links- and that a sense of community was not lost. Online activities attracted younger and more ethnically diverse participants. The BTA will continue to offer online intervention and we outline some new developments.


Colette Bunker:

Colette has strategic and operational oversight of all BTA services. These include helpline support channels, a local and online peer support network of 121 groups, an events and training programme, volunteering and befriending programmes and an e-learning site. She is responsible for the ongoing growth, evaluation, and digital development of these services, as well as leading the internal safeguarding team. Colette works to ensure services are inclusive, innovative and continue to serve the tinnitus community’s needs in the best way possible.

Lucy Handscomb:

Dr Lucy Handscomb is a hearing therapist and lecturer. She teaches audiology students at UCL Ear Institute and also lectures on international courses, particularly in the field of tinnitus. She has published a number of book chapters and research papers on aural rehabilitation and tinnitus and obtained her PhD- an evaluation of a cognitive behavioural model of tinnitus distress- from the University of Nottingham in 2018. She has worked in several specialist NHS tinnitus clinics and recently joined the therapy team at the Royal National Ear Nose and Throat hospital in London. She is a trustee of the BTA .

Developing ideas for supporting young people with misophonia. Dr Zara Jay


The number of misophonia referrals into our clinical psychology department, based within a national audiology service, has risen exponentially in recent years. The pandemic lockdowns seem to have intensified this demand for help. The development of therapeutic approaches for supporting those experiencing misophonia is still in it’s infancy. While the young people may share an intolerance or rage response associated with certain sounds or movements, they are quite a diverse group in terms of the formulation of the difficulties. Our work in this area is still evolving. I will present some of the tools and techniques that form part of our current practice.


I have worked as a clinical psychologist within the child audiology service at the Royal National ENT Hospital since 2006. Within this role I support young people experiencing tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia and dizziness. I also contribute towards the MDT assessment of young people considering cochlear implantation.

Workshop: Meeting the needs of ADHD and Autistic people in the clinic. Andrew Whitehouse & Anne Lincoln


Audiology and hearing clinics have patients from a wide variety of clinical backgrounds and with a vast range of needs.  This includes ADHD, Autism and various other Neurodiversities.

How can the clinicians, practitioners and other staff ensure an accessible ADHD and Autistic friendly inclusive holistic clinic experience?

How can the clinic experience be improved and enhanced by considering the diverse needs of ADHD and Autistic patients?

What benefits are there to examining the visit to the clinic from a wider, pre visit viewpoint?

How do clinic staff meet those needs on an individual basis?


Andrew Whitehouse:

TEDx Speaker and former Bamford Lecturer Andrew Whitehouse is a specialist in neurological diversity and provides interventions for professionals, parents and young people with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and related conditions as well as behavioural interventions.  Andrew has a number of roles including training, strategies and therapies for education professionals in early years settings, schools, colleges and universities, observing learners in the learning environment and providing practical solutions to help them achieve their potential.
Andrew has just published his first book ‘Andrew and the Magic Giveash**ometer; Growing up with ADHD’

Anne Lincoln:

I am a Senior Audiologist in south Wales. After a first career working in IT, hard of hearing friends gave me an interest in D/deaf culture and led to me working for a deaf charity in Kent, before returning to university to retrain as an audiologist. I have recently started to see learning disabled and autistic adults in clinic and am keen to work with them to make their clinical experience a better one. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the countryside, watching wildlife and attempting to cycle up local hills.

"We didn't know you were out there" - experiences of developing an audiology service for adults with learning difficulties. Dr Lynzee McShea


Lynzee will share her experiences of developing a service for adults with learning disabilities in Sunderland and South Tyneside. Since starting the first clinic back in 2008, the service has grown significantly and now accepts referrals from across the region. She will describe this development, giving an overview of her experiences and learning. She will offer practical suggestions and real life examples, as well as sharing elements of the British Society of Audiology’s Practice Guidance published earlier this year, of which she was an editor and contributor.
In addition to these clinical aspects, Lynzee will explain how she has embedded research into her day to day practice. She will describe some of her key findings with support workers and primary care professionals, showing how these can be applied to promote effective multidisciplinary working. It is hoped that this session will be of particular use to clinicians aiming to develop their own local services for adults with learning disabilities.


Lynzee has 16 years experience in NHS Audiology. She was awarded a Professional Doctorate in 2016 for her work to improve the community care of adults with learning disabilities and hearing loss. Her caregiver training programme has been delivered to over 250 individuals to date and has led to significant improvements in the lives of many adults with learning disabilities.
She has several publications in this field, and her team have won regional and national awards. She is currently working within a research group on a project to improve audiological assessment for people with learning disabilities in primary care.

You can't improve what you don't measure: an update on hearing loss prevalence in England and implications for health policy. Dr Dalia Tsimpida


The PLACE Project aimed to investigate the prevalence of the objectively identified hearing loss in older adults in England. We used data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a nationally representative sample of 8,263 adults aged over the 50s, which contains information on the participant’s objectively measured hearing acuity. The study was the first to investigate the prevalence of hearing loss based on actual geographical patterns and not on age demographics, providing the best audiological data in England today. The findings revealed vast regional differences in comparison to the current prevalence estimates in all age groups. The participants residing in the northern part of the country had worse hearing outcomes at an earlier age. These findings have significant implications for health policy; the local hearing health needs should be estimated based on the population’s needs and not on the population’s age profiles. Applying a single percentage for all regions means that the northern part of the country with a history of socioeconomic and health disparities may be left behind in its needs, producing hearing health inequalities and premature morbidity. Regular assessment of the extent and causality of the population’s different audiological needs in England is strongly supported.


Dr Dalia Tsimpida is a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Manchester. She has an extensive background in hearing health in later life, health psychology, social epidemiology, health policy & health services planning, and vast experience in delivering innovative research on lifestyle factors in hearing loss. Her research has led to the foundation of a new distinct emerging research field, namely hearing health inequalities. She received the International Society of Audiology Scholarship 2020 for her pioneering research findings on the prevention and early detection of hearing loss in primary care and the Young Scientist Award 2021 in Computational Audiology.

My sudden sensorineural hearing loss experience. Carly Sygrove


Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is defined as rapid loss of hearing, which happens in three days or less. There are around 5–160 cases of SSNHL per 100,000 people reported every year, though this figure could be higher due to the number of cases that go unreported and undiagnosed.

In most cases, SSNHL is referred to as ‘idiopathic’ — cause unknown. The condition may follow a viral infection, such as flu or herpes. More recently, a possible link has been reported between SSNHL and COVID-19.

In this presentation, Carly Sygrove, a British freelance writer, currently living in Spain, will describe her experience of Sudden hearing loss. She will talk about her memories from the day of the loss and the treatment she received. Carly will also describe the practical and emotional aspects of learning to live life with single-sided deafness (SSD) and her experience of trialling a CROS hearing aid.

Carly will explain why she founded the My Hearing Loss Story blog and how this led her to form a Facebook community. Finally, she will speak about launching a new website, Sudden Hearing Loss Support — the first website ever dedicated to providing information and support to people affected by SSNHL


Carly Sygrove is a freelance writer with a background in teaching. She is originally from the UK and currently living in Spain. In 2016, she experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in her left ear. Carly was later diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and vestibular migraine.

She is the founder of the My Hearing Loss Story blog, which details her experience of SSNHL. She also manages the My Hearing Loss Story Facebook group.

In April 2021, she launched a new website, Sudden Hearing Loss Support – the first website ever dedicated to providing information and support to people affected by SSNHL.

Benefits of 360 hearing (even for severe-profound hearing loss!) Alison Stone


Oticon’s unique approach to noise reduction aims to provide hearing aid patients with access to all speech, not just speech from a single direction. While this approach is in contrast with the traditional approach to directionality, and may even seem counterintuitive, it provides many proven benefits for the brain, most notably less effort to understand speech. We call this approach OpenSound Navigator and it represents a very exciting development in hearing aid technology. The benefits are also not just for those with moderate hearing loss – people with severe-profound audiograms also benefit.


Alison Stone is the national Training Manager for Oticon UK. She is an audiologist with over 15 years’ experience and has a passion for teaching. Her previous clinical roles have included audiology at a government community health centre, dispensing hearing aids in private practice, and electrophysiological & vestibular diagnostics for ENT practices. Alison joined Oticon South Africa in 2005, heading up the Customer Relations department. In 2008 she joined Oticon UK and currently leads all training and education activities.

Reduced contact audiology. Robert McLeod


Covid-19 has taken a massive toll on our society and workplaces. Audiology has always been a hands-on profession, with patients at the centre of our priorities.
Join us to look at ways we can use outstanding technology to support protocols for patient interaction. We will be looking at assessment to remote fitting as part of our study time together.
Learning Objectives:
• The principles to consider for reduced contact in Otosuite®
• Proposing an adjusted workflow for minimal contact.
• Aurical® HIT / Freefit overview, coupling options and performing an RECD.
• Visual examples of coupling adapters and different Hearing aid (HA) types.
• How to verify a fitting on the coupler


Rob holds the position of Clinical Trainer for Hearing & Balance at Natus Medical. Rob received his audiology training in the UK, graduating from the University of Manchester with clinical distinction. He has many years of clinical experience in both the national health service and private practice which includes more than 9 years of experience with Otosuite and the Natus Hearing & Balance product line.

Persistent postural perceptual dizziness: diagnosis and management. Professor Diego Kaski


Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness  PPPD) is a common cause of chronic  dizziness associated with significant morbidity. Observed risk factors include pre-morbid anxiety and neuroticism and increased visual dependence. Following a vestibular insult, patients with PPPD chronically adopt maladaptive strategies impairing behaviour. In this talk I will be covering the known mechanisms responsible for the range of symptoms of PPPD, a diagnostic approach, and available evidence for its management.


Diego Kaski is an international leader in Vestibular Neuroscience, with major publications in high-impact journals, including Nature Genetics, BMJ, Lancet Neurology, and Annals of Internal Medicine. He set up and heads the Centre for Vestibular and Behavioural Neurosciences within the Department of Clinical and Movement Neurosciences at UCL, and leads an active research group exploring the neural mechanisms of spatial orientation and multisensory integration, with a strong translational element that aims to develop novel clinical biomarkers and therapies for vestibular disorders.

A review of audio-vestibular symptoms relating to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Professor Kevin Munro


We reviewed the literature for evidence of SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and audio-vestibular symptoms. The protocol was pre-registered, with methods developed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. Risk of bias was assessed using the NIH quality assessment tools. After rejecting 850 records, 28 case reports/
series and 28 cross-sectional studies met the inclusion criteria.

There are multiple reports of hearing loss (e.g. sudden unilateral sensorineural), tinnitus and rotatory vertigo in adults having a wide range of COVID-19 symptom severity. The pooled estimate of prevalence, based primarily on retrospective recall of symptoms, was 7.6% (CI: 2.5–15.1), 14.8% (CI: 6.3–26.1) and 7.2% (CI: 0.01–26.4), for hearing loss, tinnitus and rotatory vertigo, respectively. We recently revised these estimates (after removing studies where the symptoms may have existed before the pandemic) to 3.7% (95% CI: 0.84 – 8.42), 9.6% (95% CI: 3.60 – 18.13), and 2.4% (95% CI: 0.47 – 6.01), respectively. These prevalence estimates are
not trivial given the current global number of 228 million COVID-19 cases (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ accessed 17 Sept 2021).

However, caution is required because much of the evidence is based on retrospective surveys, relying on self-report and recall, without a non-COVID control group.


Ewing Professor of Audiology, Director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD), Deputy Director of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, and theme lead for Hearing Health. Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist at Manchester NHS Trust. The only audiologist to be awarded NIHR Senior Investigator status; Principal Fellow of the British Society of Audiology; Expert Advisor for the NICE Centre for Guidelines; member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Australian National Acoustic Laboratories. He is Chair of the North West NIHR Research for Patient Benefit panel.

Free Paper: Outcomes of Vestibular dysfunction in children & young people: health-related quality of life, ongoing symptoms, & the perceived effects on everyday life. Samantha Lear


Vestibular dysfunction in children and adolescents is not uncommon, yet there is scant evidence in the scientific literature about outcomes in this group. This study aimed to examine chronic vestibular symptoms and health-related quality of life in a group of children and young people with vestibular dysfunction.

Even in the longer term, vestibular symptoms are present along with significantly diminished health-related quality of life in children and young people with vestibular dysfunction. Long-term effects such as ongoing anxiety, and decreased ability to exercise and drive, are reported.

Results from the current study provide some insight into the effects of vestibular dysfunction on children and young people, and will encourage professionals working with this group to target resources for managing young patients with vestibular dysfunction.


Samantha has 28 years experience in NHS Audiology as a Clinical Scientist, most of these within paediatric audiology. She is nearing completion of her Clinical Doctorate and the Higher Specialist Scientific Training Scheme, and is currently Vice-President of the BAA.

Her clinical specialisms include hearing assessment and habilitation in complex children, and she has developed a Paediatric Vestibular Service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which has assessed over 400 children to date. She has undertaken research in tinnitus in children, and in children with vestibular disorders.

Five steps to start the Higher Training Scheme. Helen Martin


The Higher Training Scheme was launched at the BAA conference 15 years ago. The scheme has enabled Audiologists to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to work in specialist clinical areas, plus a transferable qualification which is highly regarded by the profession. This year an updated version of the scheme was launched, with a greater variety of modules with updated content, and a new online logbook. This talk will go through the necessary steps you need to follow to enable you to  start completing a module, from the initial phase of learning about the scheme and what is involved, right through to the first training clinic. So if you are keen to lead clinics in a specialist area, such as paediatrics, balance or tinnitus, or want to supervise someone to train, this talk is for you. As a manager with a skill gap within your department, or if you have identified a need to train someone up for succession planning, come and find out how the Higher Training Scheme can be used.  The talk will also be useful refresher for those more familiar with the scheme who are keen to be updated on the newer scheme.


Helen has over 20 years experience working in Audiology, to include the NHS, education, charitable and private sectors. She has always had an interest in training and development, having taught on the MSc course in Southampton early on in her career, and volunteering to help run and develop professional body training schemes. Helen currently works in the NHS, carrying out research and evaluations in a wide range of areas, as well as providing advice and support for CCG and primary care staff. She is the current Chair of the BAA Higher Training Scheme Committee.

Leading through co-production & action learning. Jack Stancel-Lewis


I will share my Healthcare Science Fellowship journey at NHS England and NHS Improvement, my experiences of co-production and patient participation during the development and implementation of a Sensory Health Passport, the early stages of developing more acceptable hearing checks for children and young people who have a learning disability and/or are autistic, and Hearing Birding.


Jack is a Clinical Fellow and Audiologist, working on a programme aimed at co-producing and delivering hearing checks for children and young people in residential special schools. As part of this programme, he has worked on co-delivering ear checks with parent carers. Previously he led projects aimed at improving access to sensory health across London. More specifically, in care homes, that utilised patient participatory methods to embed awareness around the importance of sensory health, which included the implementation of a Sensory Health Passport. He is interested in exploring ways in which technology can be used to improve patient centred care.

Compassionate Leadership. Ruth Thomsen


How do we think about embedding compassion as we develop a shared common purpose that speaks to authority, values and agency? If we have a duty to advocate for people with hearing loss how do we create the capacity and capability to do this?  We need to care for each other, the wider community and most of all the population we serve. In tise session I will share some of my experiences of compassionate leadership and explore some accessible tools that can start to embed compassionate conversations.


As NHSE Lead Scientist through a pandemic I have ended up taking on multiple roles including Pathology Incident Director, Parliamentary Office to Ward NHS lead, Critical Care Cell Engineering network lead, Pathology Workforce Innovation lead and regional Diagnostics Board. (managed my own lockdown wedding too!)

I find joy in being SRO for establishing Hearing checks for Children with Learning Disabilities and Autism through co-production and building the ‘Hearing’ program for the CSO office.
I am proud to be a BAA Past President, board member for IDA institute and All Ears International and supported by amazing family and colleagues.

BrainHearing for Children. Alison Stone


Children and teens with hearing loss, like their peers with typical hearing, wish to learn, have friends, understand who they are, and feel they belong.
Crucial to their development is having full access to communication and their world of sound. The Oticon BrainHearing philosophy aims to offer infants, children and teens with hearing aids that provide the brain with the very best sound information possible. Through proven BrainHearing technology, Oticon hearing aids provide them full access to the complete sound scene to support cognitive development, speech and language development, and the development of social relationships and inclusion. Based on independent research studies by paediatric audiology researchers around the world, we have been able to show that Oticon hearing aids provide better access to speech information, improvements in speech understanding in noisy environments, and reduced listening effort.


Alison Stone is the national Training Manager for Oticon UK. She is an audiologist with over 15 years’ experience and has a passion for teaching. Her previous clinical roles have included audiology at a government community health centre, dispensing hearing aids in private practice, and electrophysiological & vestibular diagnostics for ENT practices. Alison joined Oticon South Africa in 2005, heading up the Customer Relations department. In 2008 she joined Oticon UK and currently leads all training and education activities.

Hearing aid fitting for the elderly. Richard Windle


The elderly form the majority of patients in audiology, yet represent many of the most complex cases. Overall performance in psychometric tests remains relatively stable throughout adult life, but this masks a continuous underlying decline in the “fluid intelligence” that underpins our auditory processing abilities. Normal ageing is therefore associated with ongoing impairment of speech perception, which has clear implications for the way in which hearing aids should be set.

It has long been suggested that reducing distortion should be considered of equal importance to setting appropriate gain in hearing aids for the elderly population. Yet many hearing aids default to fast-acting compression with high compression ratios and an overlay of advanced features, which may be inappropriate for many patients. It is argued that distortion should be reduced through use of slow-acting compression as a default, and that thorough validation is required as part of a pragmatic approach to hearing aid fitting for the elderly. Increasing age should be seen as indicative of increasing complexity in delivering hearing care, so we should take care not to consider the majority of our patients as “standard”.


Richard is a Senior Clinical Scientist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and service lead for R&D and Audit. His clinical specialisms are vestibular science and hearing rehabilitation for the elderly, and he continues to conduct research in these areas. He is a member of the BSA Professional Guidance Group and the BSA Research Development Group, and is joint Specialty Lead for ENT/Audiology and the Audiology Champion in the local NIHR Clinical Research network.

BAA/BCIG CI Champions scheme: 2 years on. Linor Llwyd Jones


The BAA/BCIG Cochlear Implant Champions scheme was launched by Ann-Maire Dickinson and Martin O’Driscoll at the BAA conference in 2019. Since then, the scheme has grown in strength and we now have over 110 Champions registered across the country and a new committee of 16 members who provide representation from various disciplines involved in the severe-profound patient journey. The scheme has undergone some significant changes over the last year and has developed considerably and we wish to thank all the people who have been involved for their help and support.

During this short talk we will give you a taster of the work we have been doing, what we are hoping to do next and the challenges faced, by discussing the following:
• general update on the scheme and highlight areas we are now working on
• discuss the gap in access to cochlear implants2
• share the work of the CI champions
• discuss the impact of delaying a referral
• explain some common cochlear implant myths and misconceptions
• summarise the current post-COVID situation for cochlear implant teams across the UK

1 = O’Driscoll and Dickinson (2019) ‘It’s only a NICE change if we know what to do next!’ BAA Conference presentation. Available at: https://www.baaudiology.org/professional-information/cochlear-implant-champions/
2 = Buchman et al. (2020) A Systematic Review and Consensus Statements. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.  doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.0998


Linor Llwyd Jones is the Clinical Lead for Adult Cochlear Implants at the North Wales Auditory Implant Programme, BCUHB. Linor is based at Glan Clwyd Hospital and her clinical role includes Adult Cochlear Implants and Diagnostic Audio Vestibular work. Linor is currently in her second year of the Audiology HSST programme.  She joined the BAA/BCIG CI Champions Committee in 2020 and since then has been co-working with committee members to develop the scheme by delivering training, developing resources, raising awareness and generally supporting the CI Champions. Linor led the CI champions 2021 training event held alongside BCIG 2021 conference.

Speech and sound on the brain. Professor Sophie Scott


In this talk I will explore the neural basis of sound processing in humans, and demonstrate that the perception of sound is based on multiple neural streams of processing. I will investigate what this means for the perception and production of speech and voice, and how these networks can be shaped by experience. I will finish by considering the social nature of sound for humans, and some of the ways that this can influence brain responses to sound.


I have been researching the perception and production of speech since my PhD at UCL in the 1990s. I am particularly interested in the ways that speech is processed as a sound, the neural basis of speech and sound processing and in the social roles of vocalizations. I became the Director of the ICN in 2019, and gave the Royal Society Christmas Lectures in 2017.

IQIPs 2.0 – changes and supporting services. Dr Laura Booth & Jason Smalley


This presentation aims to provide information on the changes to the IQIPS Standard from v1 to v2 and provide an understanding of the accreditation process together with how services can be supported by the professional body, UKAS, and those who have gone through UKAS accreditation


Dr Laura Booth graduated with a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences and then trained as a Clinical Scientist gaining her MSc. in Audiology at Southampton University and obtained her Doctorate in Audiology through Nova South Eastern University, Florida in 2006. She has worked in the NHS for 16 years participating and leading in adult and paediatric audiology assessment and rehabilitation.  She has worked as a Quality Assurance Consultant for the national neonatal hearing screening programme, and with the Department of Health and has presented at national and international conferences. She has been board director for Education and Training on the British Academy of Audiology. For the last 7 years she works remotely at UKAS as Senior Assessment Manager using her drive and passion for quality improvement to assist in managing customers through the UKAS accreditation IQIPS scheme and providing internal and external training initiatives along with development work within the healthcare sector. She currently lives in Yorkshire with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs.

Implementing a blended remote pathway – Learnings from CHIME


In March 2020, Adult Audiology service provision as we knew it was largely closed due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. CHIME Social Enterprise quickly pivoted to provide remote hearing aid services in partnership with Signia and were able to meet their NHS contractual obligations for 20/21, as well as conduct 3800 remote fittings.

Over 18 months later, the team at CHIME have continued to review their care pathways to ensure their service meets the needs of their patients and maximises the benefit that can be gained from using hearing aids.

We invite you to join CHIME’s Managing Director, Jonathan Parsons, and Operations Manager, Anna Trotter, as they sit down with Signia’s National Training Manager, Julia Van Huyssteen, to discuss the process, challenges, and learnings from implementing a blended remote pathway and share the insights gained along the way.

Note: Chime Social Enterprise is the spin out of the NHS Audiology Service in Exeter, which under Right to Request became a Social Enterprise in May 2011.


Jonathan is a Consultant Clinical Scientist and Managing Director of Chime Social Enterprise. He started his career as an Audiologist in Nottingham and was the first President of the BAA. He served two terms on the BAA Board and has worked in an advisory capacity with the Department of Health.

Anna is a Clinical Scientist who has worked in Audiology in Exeter for the last 18 years. Specialising in adult rehabilitation and vestibular, Anna is the Operations Manager for Chime, overseeing the service to ensure it meets the needs of all patients and staff.

Julia is the National Training Manager for Signia and is responsible for developing and delivering audiological training. With over 13 years of clinical experience in the NHS, Julia is a Paediatric Audiologist and former Head of Service.

Friday lecturers

Day 2 at conference

Practice Listening and Understanding Speech (PLUS): Co-development and usability of two novel auditory-cognitive training interventions. Dr Helen Henshaw


Introduction: Auditory training can result in improved speech perception and cognition for people with hearing loss (PHL) and hearing aid (HA) users. For cognition, the largest benefits may be achieved by training that combines both auditory and cognitive approaches. Evidence from our own research suggests that for speech perception, benefits may be driven by improvements in executive functions. Furthermore, training cognition (working memory) in isolation does not result in real-world benefits for HA users.

Methods: Two bespoke auditory-cognitive training interventions have been co-developed with PHL and HA users, designed to target executive functions using speech stimuli through: 1) the refinement of perceptual and cognitive skills (phoneme discrimination n-back training), and 2) the development of cognitive control in listening (competing-talker training).

The training interventions were iteratively refined through extensive at-home usability testing; Think Aloud interviews (n=8), at-home trials (n=8), semi-structured interviews (n-8), and training diaries (n=15). Identified changes were tabulated and prioritised for implementation using the MoSCoW technique.

Results: The resulting training interventions are highly usable and aligned to patient need.

Discussion: The training interventions will be provided to first-time HA users across two NHS audiology services to assess the feasibility of conducting a full-scale multicentre trial of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.


Helen is a Senior Research Fellow, Chartered Psychologist and NIHR Fellowship holder. Working alongside clinical and academic colleagues in Hearing Sciences at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, her research programme develops and evaluates novel interventions to improve the lives of adults with hearing loss and those with whom they communicate.

Helen is a specialty lead for ENT within the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), a member of the British Society of Audiology and vice Chair of their Special Interest Group for Cognition in Hearing, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Hearing loss, cognition, and communication behaviour. Professor Graham Naylor


Difficulty engaging in conversation in complex situations is the #1 complaint of people with hearing loss. Although it is intuitively ‘obvious’ that hearing loss will make such conversations more difficult, a detailed treatment of what actually goes on is missing. In this talk, I focus on the specific and diverse ways in which obstacles to success originating in the (auditory) perceptual domain transform into challenges to the cognitive processes of conversation, and hence to behaviour. It is seen – perhaps surprisingly – that the objective character of obstacles to success is the same, regardless of hearing ability. The effects of (unacknowledged) hearing loss on conversation behaviours are thus likely to be a matter of degree, or frequency of occurrence, rather than differing fundamentally from normal hearing. However, in people with acknowledged hearing loss, the loss of trust in one’s own hearing may cause cognitive processes, and thus behaviour, to unfold differently.

It is notable that this approach provides an explanatory pathway from the perceptual challenges in conversation raised by hearing loss, via behavioural responses, to some of the well-documented psychosocial consequences. It may also provide a basis for better understanding of the experience of hearing disability, better counselling, and better interventions.


Graham Naylor is Professor of Hearing Sciences and Director of the Scottish Section of the Hearing Sciences group in the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine. Prior to 2015, Graham was Director of Oticon’s Eriksholm Research Centre in Denmark for thirteen years. In that post he delivered numerous research projects which have impacted the wider field of hearing-aid R&D.

Current projects seek to
– Understand real-life auditory behaviour,
– Improve methods of assessing hearing disability and intervention benefit, including listening effort, hearing-related fatigue, and behavioural measures of performance.
Graham is immediate Past-President of the International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology.

Male brain theory in practice. Andrew Whitehouse


Male and female brain, is there a difference? Is this a gender related question? This workshop, based on the research of Sir Simon Baron-Cohen will be investigating this. Single attention/divided attention. What impact does this have on achieving day to day tasks? Modes of communication, what is most effective? Auditory verbal, or visual? Using explicit/implicit communication.


TEDx Speaker and former Bamford Lecturer Andrew Whitehouse is a specialist in neurological diversity and provides interventions for professionals, parents and young people with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and related conditions as well as behavioural interventions.  Andrew has a number of roles including training, strategies and therapies for education professionals in early years settings, schools, colleges and universities, observing learners in the learning environment and providing practical solutions to help them achieve their potential.

Andrew has just published his first book ‘Andrew and the Magic Giveash**ometer; Growing up with ADHD’

Beyond the pandemic: visions for the future. Panel Discussion

Adam Beckman – Head of Audiology Services, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Adam is the Head of Audiology Services, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP), where he has been for 16 years, following stints at the RNTNEH and Whipps Cross University Hospital. He is a Past President of the BAA. Adam’s primary focus has always been adult rehabilitation, although he still works clinically with children and balance services.

Recently, he has lead the service through all the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they won the Healthcare Science Award for how they embraced remote working.

Adrian Carragher – Head of Service, Audiology, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Bhavisha Parmar – Audiologist and PhD candidate, UCL Ear Institute

Bhavisha is a practicing paediatric audiologist and works in the public and private sector. She is also a tutor at Anglia Ruskin University, the Technical Specialist for the charity Deaf Kidz International and a Trustee of the British Society of Audiology.

Bhavisha is currently completing her PhD at UCL Ear Institute and she is passionate about using evidence based practice to develop sustainable ear and hearing care services for low resource areas.

Jane Wild – Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Adult Audiology Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Jane is a Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Adult Audiology at BCUHB in North Wales, overseeing delivery and development of adult hearing, tinnitus, vestibular, implantable device and first point of contact Audiology in Primary Care services.
Jane has a passion for high quality, patient centred care and has contributed to development of National quality standards and guidance for adult rehabilitation. Her clinical practice remains within assessment and rehabilitation for adults with learning disabilities and dementia.
Jane is a Trustee and Secretary of the British Society of Audiology (BSA) and a member of the BSA Adult Rehabilitation Special Interest Group.

Future Insights – Addressing patient priorities into future NHS pathways. Alison Webb


Convenience, sustainability, ease-of-use and accessibility are all themes that ensure a patient-centred service.

In this discussion, we will explore industry trends around patient preferences and where we see NHS service provision evolving to accommodate patient expectations, which can also benefit departments in terms of sustainability and cost.

From the growth of rechargeability, the inception of blended hearing care models, and access to even wider product portfolios – we will provide you with examples of how future patient pathways could adapt to improve patient satisfaction.


Alison Webb is an NHS trained Audiologist, who has been part of the Signia team for over 6 years.
Following her graduation from De Montfort University with a BSc in Audiology in 2009, she joined the audiology team at Hereford County Hospital developing her skills in adult rehab, enjoying the challenge of more complex cases.

She embarked on a new role in 2015 as an Audiologist and Account Manager with Signia. With patient outcomes and satisfaction part of her core values, she provided technical support, training and education to NHS trusts across Sothern England, Wales & the Channel Islands to ensure Services and patients are getting the most out of Signia technology.

Now embarking on a new, dedicated Product Marketing role for the Public Sector, Alison has a focus to support Trusts in their efforts to promote patient-centred care, address priorities and highlight the service being provided by audiology departments.

Bamford Lecture. Parents: the key to success. Dr Josephine Marriage

I’m really pleased to be asked to do the Bamford lecture. John Bamford was the supervisor for my PhD and an inspirational clinical mentor. He introduced visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) to the UK. John Bamford and Adrian Davies worked to establish the universal newborn hearing screening program (NHSP) in the UK, which continues to be a jewel in the crown of our hearing services.

Keynote Lecture - Hearing and dementia: from ears to brain. Professor Jason Warren


Impaired hearing has emerged as a major potentiating factor for cognitive decline in dementia. However, the basis for this relationship has not been defined. Most studies have emphasised the role of peripheral hearing loss, yet we hear with our brains: natural listening places immense computational demands on neural circuitry, and the brain networks targeted by major dementias are essential for decoding the auditory environment. Here I present evidence that auditory brain dysfunction (’central’ hearing impairment) plays a crucial role in the difficulties people with dementia experience in natural listening environments. This has important implications for diagnosis and management. Diagnostically, dementias have distinctive profiles of central hearing impairment (‘auditory phenotypes’), notably impaired auditory scene analysis (‘cocktail party’ processing) in the commonest dementia, Alzheimer’s disease; indeed, auditory dysfunction may be an early harbinger of dementia. Therapeutically, ‘smart’ hearing technologies and environmental modifications that go beyond amplification are likely to be required to address the auditory symptoms people with dementia experience in their daily lives and optimise real-world hearing function. Auditory brain plasticity appears to be at least partly retained in dementia, and might be targeted by future therapies designed to promote functional adaptation in neurodegenerative diseases.


Jason Warren was Australasian Fellow to the National Hospital, Queen Square and subsequently trained in cognitive neurology at UCL’s Dementia Research Centre. Following a PhD in functional imaging of the human auditory brain he established a clinical research group at the Dementia Research Centre using complex sound as a paradigm to understand disordered information processing in neurodegenerative disease. He is currently Professor of Neurology at UCL and jointly runs the Specialist Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the National Hospital. Special interests include progressive aphasia, auditory and emotional cognition in dementia, neurology of music in dementia and functional imaging of neurodegenerative diseases.

Keynote Lecture: Hearing Across the Lifespan in Generation Genome: Diagnostics & Management from Cradle to Grave. Professor Cynthia Casson Morton


William Lambert Richardson Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology & Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Kenneth J. Ryan, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology & Director of Cytogenetics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; Institute Member, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard Chair in Auditory Genetics, University of Manchester

2021 Programme Overview:
The BAA Conference Programme team worked hard in a short space of time to pull together a conference line up which we believe provided two days of superb presentations and education that had clinical impact.

There were updates from experts in research, overviews of policy updates, service innovations and examples of clinical progress which have taken huge technological leaps in the last 12 months.
As with every conference, we endeavoured to ensure that our delegates left the event with a clear idea of how they could implement what they heard in their own departments, practice, or career.

Key sessions this year covered adult rehab, paediatric assessment, tinnitus and hyperacusis, learning disabilities, vestibular assessment and management, technology and health policy updates, neuroscience, service delivery changes, leadership, and careers support. We also had a little laughter on the agenda from Professor Sophie Scott!

Once again, we provided three parallel tracks, with a mix of Keynotes, invited speakers and free papers, including a whole track of technology, product, and software updates. Following the success of the dementia clinic in 2019, this year the team provided a room full of ideas and resources for autism and ADHD clinics. Experts in the field were available throughout the conference to discuss the use of the resources.

Day 1:
Following a welcome from President Kath Lewis we were delighted that Professor Kevin Munro, Ewing Professor of Audiology, Director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD), Deputy Director of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and theme lead for Hearing Health delivered the Adrian Davis lecture. Our second keynote lecture was Dr. Patricia Oakley, a ​strategic ​service and ​workforce ​policy analyst and development specialist with over 35 years’ health and public service experience. Dr Oakley’s presentation provided much food for thought and several often-repeatable phrases such as ‘rats in sacks!’

After coffee we continued with parallel sessions on tinnitus and learning disabilities, which featured some super ideas and lessons from research that you will be able to use in your clinical practice.

As usual the AGM took place after lunch. Members heard about what we have been doing in the past 12 months and welcomed new Board Directors. More details about the AGM can be found here.

The afternoon continued with some vestibular presentations and a track on career development and leadership. We finished day 1 with sessions on IQIPs, some free papers and a little bit of laughter with Professor Sophie Scott! We certainly hope to bring Professor Scott back to a future conference.

But the day didn’t quite finish there.

At the end of the day’s presentations, BAA Board invited all delegates to a ‘Celebrate Audiology’ session in the exhibition hall. An hour of food, drinks, poster presentations and networking with our exhibitors ensured we finished the day with a head full of ideas and full bellies.

Day 2:
The second day at conference started a little differently this year, with parallel sessions running. Delegates could choose from a session on adult hearing loss and cognition or a workshop on the gendered brain followed by a round table discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on our services. Beyond the pandemic: visions for the future will feature prominent audiologists from the four home nations discussing how their services have changed…for the good.

Following the refreshment break, President Kath Lewis introduced the 2021 Bamford lecture. Family illness meant that our publicised speaker Dr Paul Johns, Neuropathologist and Reader in Clinical Neuoranatomy, St George’s Hospital, London was not able to join us to talk about the Neuroscience of speech and language: the importance of early access to sound. However, Dr Josephine Marriage answered our call to provide the Bamford Lecture and provided a brilliant Keynote presentation on Parents: the key to success. We would like to offer Dr Marriage our immense thanks for stepping in at such short notice and providing a fabulous 45 minutes on paediatrics.

Our fourth keynote speaker was Professor Jason Warren, Professor of Neurology, UCL and Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Professor Warren presented on Hearing and dementia: from ears to brain.

After the lunchbreak and the last chance to see the exhibition and posters, we moved back into parallel sessions with our final keynote from Professor Cynthia Casson Morton on Hearing Across the Lifespan in Generation Genome: Diagnostics and Management from Cradle to Grave or some free paper sessions from UK audiologists. President Kath Lewis then officially closed the 2021 conference with some thanks and an invitation to the 18th annual conference in Manchester on 13th & 14th October 2022.

As in previous years we were delighted that our Platinum sponsors contributed to our programme with their own stream of talks over the two days, abstracts available to view above.