Hearing loss significantly impacts on an individual’s quality of life, including their physical, mental and social health. It is one of the leading causes of years lived with a disability (YLDs) for people older than 50 years of age.

Audiology is a vitality important service that provides both hearing diagnostics through a range of tests to determine the presence, nature and extent of hearing loss and associated conditions, alongside support and therapy to enable good sensory health.

Access to audiology assessments is a significant challenge across the NHS.  National data indicates that 65% of patients are currently able to access an assessment in 6 weeks (the national diagnostic standard is 95%).  Service activity levels have struggled to recover to pre-pandemic levels and there is an urgent need to improve access to these important services.

NHS England’s National Diagnostic Transformation Programme has commissioned NHS Elect to work with a cohort of four Adult Audiology services during 2024/25 to implement a series of quality improvements that will make a sustainable impact on access to services and provide learning for services across England.  NHS Elect are a national NHS organisation formed in 2002 who deliver a series of national improvement networks and other bespoke improvement programmes to the NHS.

The Audiology Collaborative

Four Audiology services (adult or combined adult & paediatric) will have the opportunity to work with NHS Elect on an improvement programme of work during 2024/25. They will use Quality Improvement methodology and local data to identify, develop and test improvements and share the learning with other services.

The support offer from NHS Elect

The four teams participating in the collaborative will be supported by NHS Elect to review capacity and demand and co-design processes that improve access, waiting times and patient experience in their services.

NHS Elect will provide each participating department with the following support (delivered primarily on a virtual basis) over the course of 1 year:

  • A senior NHS Quality Improvement coach.
  • Access to measurement for improvement expertise to help them plan, deliver and measure their improvement locally.
  • Access to national experts to provide leadership and advice.
  • A learning collaborative to learn and share learning (delivered virtually)
  • Access to virtual training on a range of QI tools and techniques (delivered virtually)
  • Expressions of interest are sought from Audiology departments who have the support from their Trust including their Trust QI team to participate in the Audiology Collaborative.

Expressions of interest are sought from Audiology departments recommended by ICB’s, who have the support from their Trust including their Trust QI team to participate in the Audiology Collaborative.

We would expect those interested in participating to have some knowledge of quality improvement methodology.

If you would like to be considered for the Audiology Collaborative, please complete the expression of interest in this link.

Closing date is Tuesday 28th May

Queries should be sent to