The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and British Society of Audiology (BSA) are pleased to inform members that NHS England has published and circulated the Newborn Hearing Screening technical guidance during Covid-19 to Screening programme leads and Trusts.
Please note that a BAA/BSA working party contributed to the document but ownership of final content is retained by NHS E. We know that some audiology services were identified as urgent/essential in the Prioritisation within the Community Health services document (2nd April) and we wish to support services to adapt practice to screen babies and be able to offer diagnostic follow up, for those identified as most clinically urgent, safely.
The Guidance should be read with a view to what is practicable within your local Trust and that variations on service delivery from that described in the document will need to occur. In the context of current lockdown guidance, there is clearly a balance to be considered of risk of transmission of Covid -19 and delivering services. It is expected that each local service would consult with their Central Clinical Advisory Groups on the assessment of risk and how to structure a service to minimise risk.
Please click here or below for the Guidance document and here for examples of how some services have structured their diagnostic clinics to minimise the risk of transmission.
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the situation, this version is currently the most up-to-date advice and therefore supersedes any previously issued guidance which may be circulating.
BAA and BSA are aware that there will be hospital/department variation on how our guidance is implemented. It is up to each individual Trust to decide how the guidance is administered and BAA and BSA are unable to influence this.
PHE has released a letter for audiology departments to use for screen referrals during Covid-19 if they are unable to offer an assessment appointment within 4 weeks due to service/clinic closures.
The Clinical Group has decided to meet every two weeks for the duration of the pandemic. They believe it is important to document their meetings and share the discussion points with their colleagues. Meeting notes listed below: