During the Coronavirus pandemic we have been using a designated fire exit with direct access to our department, which is used only by the Audiology team. Patients with a booked appointment are instructed to call a designated number and will be directed to the fire exit, therefore avoiding other departments or areas within the hospital.
We are also trying to keep footfall and numbers into the department as small as we can so many services are being managed remotely with a postal system for hearing aid repairs. We therefore ask that repairs are posted to the department to avoid patients coming into the Hospital.
Any Paediatric hearing aid patients will be contacted by telephone and only asked to attend the Hospital if there is a clinical need for them to be seen. Patients can also contact us in the usual way if they are needing to be seen and the Paediatric team will arrange a safe visit for them.
PPE is worn by all staff in our department and all patients (with the exception of Paediatrics) will be asked to wear a face covering for appointments within the department. Parents/Carers are allowed to attend with Paediatric/Vulnerable patients but we ask that you do not bring other siblings to any Hospital appointments.
The safety of our patients is the number one priority in this very challenging time and we thank you for your understanding and making this a safe department to visit.
Who are we?
We are a team who work with children and young people aged 0 - 18 who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are part of the Audiology department at Ipswich Hospital and work closely with the Ear, Nose and Throat department. Our approach is always a patient led service with the emphasis being on early intervention for children with hearing loss in order to reduce speech and language delay.
What services do we provide?
We have 2 paediatric audiologists who specialise in:
- Diagnostic hearing assessments – testing children’s hearing using a variety of different methods appropriate to their age.
- Hearing aid fitting with advanced digital hearing aids and setting these appropriately for the child hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
- Long term support to families through regular reassessment of hearing needs and signposting to other appropriate organisations.
- Supporting children to transition into adult services via a dedicated clinic between ages 16-18 depending on the child.
How do I access the service?
Any concerns regarding your child’s hearing should be addressed with your GP or Health visitor and they will direct you to the correct service. This may be either with the Community Audiology team at St Helens House or via the ENT department. The local offer information for St Helen’s house can be found by searching Children’s Community Audiology on this website.
If you are concerned about your baby’s ability to hear sounds, a checklist of things to look for at various milestones can be found in the documents section below and in your child’s red book.
Newborn Hearing Screening Service
We also work closely with the newborn hearing screening program which is a national program whereby all Babies born in the UK are offered a hearing screen at birth. If a “no clear response” is recorded from screeners you will then be referred to the Paediatric Audiologist for a full hearing assessment in the neonatal audiology clinic.
Further information and advice regarding these appointments can be found in the documents section below.
What will happen if my child is referred to the Paediatric audiology service at Ipswich Hospital?
Your child will be offered an initial assessment appointment where you will meet one of the paediatric audiologists. They will ask you about your child’s hearing problems and ask other questions about their general hearing health. They will then look in your child’s ears to make sure they are clear of wax and healthy, and conduct a hearing test. The hearing test will be appropriate to the child’s age and will involve assessing their response to sounds. From this, the audiologist will discuss the results and your options with you.
If appropriate, your child may be fitted with hearing aids. These will be set by the paediatric audiologist to suit your child hearing needs. The settings will be regularly reviewed in order that your child gets the most out of hearing everyday sounds and speech. During this time we will be working closely with the education team and teachers to ensure the necessary support is in place for each child’s individual need. An advice sheet for teachers/carers about how to communicate effectively in and out of the classroom can be found in the documents section.
As your child reaches 16 years old (dependant on the child) it becomes appropriate for them to move into the adult service. They will be seen in a transition clinic to provide them with age appropriate support until we feel they can be seen by the Adult services team at approximately 18 years.