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Audiology

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust provide a range of services for both adults and children. We provide care across Birmingham, Sandwell and the surrounding areas.

We have a large team consisting of audiologists, audiological scientists, assistant audiologists, newborn hearing screeners, paediatricians and administrative staff. We also have close links with Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultants and teachers of the deaf.

Our goal is to provide diagnostic and rehabilitative care in the form of:

  • Accurate hearing tests in sound treated rooms
  • Digital hearing aid provision
  • Counselling and management strategies
  • Providing access to assistive listening devices within the home
  • Tinnitus management and counselling
  • Vestibular assessment and rehabilitation

We offer our services at a wide variety of locations to help meet your needs whenever we can. These include:

  • Hearing Services Centre, City Hospital
  • Lyng Health Centre, West Bromwich
  • Boldmere Health Clinic, Sutton Coldfield
  • Rowley Regis Hospital, Rowley Regis
  • Neptune Health Park, Tipton

National Accreditation for Audiology

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust Audiology Services are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

UKAS are a national body who inspect Audiology services to ensure quality, care and patient safety. Our Audiology service has held this accreditation since 2013 and was one of the first in the country to gain this coveted quality mark for Routine and Complex Adult Audiology Services, Children’s Audiology Services and Newborn Hearing Screening.

For more information about disabled access for this service, please click here.

Team

Our multi-disciplinary team is made up of clinical scientists, audiologists, assistant audiologists, and administrative and clerical support.

Service Manager
Dr Suki Dhillon, Consultant Clinical Scientist

Head of Audiology
Joanne Bromhall

Deputy Head of Audiology
Rebecca Few

Clinical scientists in Audiology
Claire Lingard
Terri Harding
Kathryn Keyes
Andrew Rutter
Abigail Jones

Hearing Services Centre
Audiologists
Fiona Bowen
Maryam Faruki
Wacas Gafoor
Karen Harris
Mark Hassall
Shahrior Mian
Paramjit Rai
Sharon Thomas
Phil Ypres-Smith
Charndeep Gill
Farhana Begum

Assistant Audiologists
Angela Jesson

Katie Parkes

Lyng Centre for Health and Social Care
Audiologists
Rajpreet Achall
Cath Beardes
Jane Cartwright
Wendy Field
Annette Hill
Carl Longden
Kim Wright
Sajida Julfar

Assistant Audiologists
Sharon Robinson
Linsey Smith
Karen Vernum

Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
Dr Suki Dhillon (Audiology)
Dr Helen Robertson (Medical)
Sarah Murphy (Head of NHSP)

Services

Services for Adults

Free hearing tests

  • At the Trust, your hearing is important to us. The team is committed to carrying out a thorough assessment in specially treated sound proof booths. We are able to refer directly to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant reducing delays in your diagnosis/treatment.
  • We can arrange referrals to other specialist services including adult cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids if required.
  • Anyone who is concerned about their hearing should visit their GP. If you would like to do a quick hearing check at home click here for an online hearing check from Action on Hearing Loss.
  • You can be referred to the audiology service by your GP for a hearing assessment and hearing aid fitting, if this is appropriate. In some cases we can perform the hearing assessment and fit the hearing aids on the same day.
  • If you have had ear problems in the past or do not meet the criteria to be referred directly to the service, you will be referred to see a consultant in the ENT department first. Your consultant may then refer you the audiology service for hearing aids if required.

Hearing aids

  • Digital hearing aids are fitted routinely for all patients. They are fitted to each individual’s needs via a computerised system that makes them unique to the wearer. Using up-to-date technology, counselling and questionnaires, we can develop individual management plans allowing us to create a pathway of care centred around the patient’s needs.
  • All patients who need hearing aids will be shown how to use and care for them, and will be given information on how to get used to wearing a hearing aid, how often to wear it and where to get replacement batteries. You will also be given a record book with information on what we have done for you during your appointments.

For links to more information about using and maintaining hearing aids please click on the patient information tab.

Hearing aid follow-up and Repair

  • It is important to ensure you are managing you hearing aid(s) well. Approximately eight weeks after you have received your hearing aid(s) you will have a follow up appointment. This appointment is used to re-cap information covered at your fitting appointment and to also make sound adjustments based upon your experiences if required.
  • If you require general maintenance or adjustments to your hearing aid(s), a drop in clinic is available. No appointment is needed, this may mean you incur a small wait upon arrival, but also ensures your needs are met as soon as they arise rather than having to wait for an appointment. Audiologists can also offer advice and answer any questions that you may have. Please bring your record book with you when attending one of these clinics. The drop in service is available at the following sites: Hearing Services Centre, City Hospital, Boldmere Health Clinic, Sutton Coldfield, Lyng Health Centre, West Bromwich.

Please see our Patient Information tab for a list of our repair walk-in times.

At our smaller outreach clinics, we operate an appointment based repairs service, these include:

  • Rowley Regis Hospital
  • Neptune Health Park, Tipton

We advise that you attend one of our drop-in clinics every three to six months for regular maintenance of your hearing aid. You will be given more detailed advice regarding this at your hearing aid fitting appointment.

Hearing aid battery collection

  • Batteries can be collected over the desk without an appointment Monday to Friday. All you need to bring is your brown record book and your used batteries.
  • If you have limited mobility or are unable to attend the clinic for any other reason, we can post batteries out to you. Please post in your brown record book with your used batteries and we will return your book with a new set of batteries.

Lost Hearing Aids

  • If you lose your hearing aid, you will need to attend the drop in repairs clinic and speak to one of our clinicians. You will be asked to complete a form detailing the loss of the aid. You may incur a charge of £60 per hearing aid. This is to cover the administration costs of replacing your hearing aid. Exemption from charges is based on individual cases.

Domicillary Visits

  • We are able to offer a home visit service for individuals that are fully housebound.
  • Referrals must be made via your GP requesting a home visit assessment.

Specialist Services for Adults

 Tinnitus

  • Tinnitus is a condition where noises are heard in one or both ears.
  • These noises can range from whistling or buzzing to songs or machinery.
  • Referrals would normally come via ENT, however if there are no other ENT symptoms, we can accept direct referrals from your GP.
  • We offer advice, support and equipment to help you manage your tinnitus more effectively.
  • Please see the Patient information tab for more information about tinnitus

Services for children

Newborn hearing screening

  • We manage one of the largest newborn hearing screening programmes in England.
  • Babies born in the Sandwell, West Birmingham and Solihull areas will be screened by our team.
  • We offer a newborn hearing screen for babies within the first few weeks of life with the aim of identifying hearing loss and providing support as early as possible.
  • The screen only takes a few seconds per ear. It is normally carried out whilst your baby is sleeping.
  • A small rubber tip is placed just at the opening of the ear canal and sound is played into the ear.
  • We measure the ear’s response to the sound to determine its functionality.
  • Babies who do not pass their newborn hearing screen will be offered diagnostic testing to establish whether a hearing loss is present. We will provide appropriate management of any hearing loss found.
  • For more information about the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme click here.

Hearing Assessment

  • Referrals are received from GPs, health visitors, school nurses, speech therapists and paediatricians.
  • A paediatric audiologist will ask you and your child questions about their hearing and will examine their ears.
  • An age appropriate test will be chosen to assess your child’s hearing by one or two audiologists.
  • Behavioural testing is normally carried out, where we teach your child to listen and respond to a sound via an action or motion. This is usually done by playing a game. This helps to keep your child engaged in a natural and comfortable way.
  • The results and further action required, including a future appointment if necessary, will be fully explained to you on the day of your appointment.

 Hearing Aids

  • If your child requires a hearing aid, they will be referred to us via an ENT consultant.
  • A full assessment will be carried out as above and the most appropriate digital hearing aid will be selected for your child.
  • You and your child will be given full instruction on how the hearing aid works, how to care for the aid and what to do should you be having any problems.

 Hearing Aid Review

  • We provide regular follow ups for your child within the first few months of their hearing aid fitting.
  • Once your child is comfortable and settled with their hearing aid, they will then receive a regular review.
  • We offer a walk in repairs service should any problems arise between your review dates. Please see Patient Information tab for more details.

 School age screening

  • If your child attends school in the Sandwell area, they will receive a hearing screen when they are in reception.
  • A letter will be sent home to inform you of the hearing screen and you can confirm whether you wish for your child to be tested.
  • If a hearing problem is highlighted, the relevant referrals will be made and you will be informed.

 

Patient Stories

 

 

Patient Information

Walk-in repair times:

HEARING AID INFORMATION

Getting used to your hearing aid:

  • At first your hearing may sound echoey, tinny and hollow.
  • It is natural to feel that your own voice sounds louder than it should do in the first few weeks.
  • It can take up to eight weeks to fully adjust to your new hearing aids.
  • Try to wear your new hearing aids on a daily basis. Ideally, wearing them all day would be beneficial.
  • If you struggle to adjust to wearing your hearing aids, find a routine that suits you. Examples include:
    1. Wear for two hours in the morning, then afternoon and then evening for the first couple of weeks.
    2. Wears for one to two hours at time taking comfort breaks of approximately one hour and then repeat. Try and reduce comfort breaks as each week passes.
    3. Wear in the house for the first one to two weeks and then slowly introduce your hearing aids the outside environment.
  • It is natural to feel overwhelmed. Having your hearing back can be an exciting but also strange experience. Your audiologist will offer advice, counselling and tactics to help you acclimatise.

 TINNITUS INFORMATION

Useful links:

CHILDREN’S SERVICES INFORMATION

Useful links:

 SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR HOME AND WORK

  • If you need help or advice regarding special equipment in the home (e.g. telephones and smoke alarms) or at work please contact the following services according to where you live:

Birmingham Residents                                         Sandwell Residents
BID Services                                                                     Ideal For All

The Deaf Cultural Centre                                               Independent Living Centre
Ladywood Road                                                              100 Oldbury Road
Birmingham                                                                     Smethwick
B16 8SZ                                                                             B66 1JET

Phone: 0121 246 6100                                                   Phone: 0121 569 4950
Minicom: 0121 246 6101                                               Minicom: 0121 565 7967
Fax: 0121 246 6125                                                         Fax: 0121 565 7973
Website: www.bid.org.uk                                              Website: www.idealforall.co.uk

For queries relating to employment and support at work, Access to Work can be contacted directly through your local Job Centre Plus or using the details below:

Jobcentre Plus
Access to Work Operational Support Unit
Alexandra House
377 Cowbridge Road East
Cardiff
CF5 1WU

Phone: 02920 423 291
Minicom: 02920 644 886
Fax: 02920 423 342
Email: atwosu.cardiff@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.direct.gov.uk

Useful websites:

Action On Hearing Loss (previously Royal National Institute for the Deaf)
www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk

British Cochlear Implant Group
www.bcig.org.uk

Deafblind UK
www.deafblind.org.uk

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
www.hearingdogs.org.uk

Sense (for deafblind people)
https://www.sense.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

Contacts

Hearing Services CentreCity Hospital and Boldmere Health Clinic
0121 507 4875

Lyng Centre for Health and Social Care, Neptune Health Park and Rowley Regis Hospital clinics
0121 612 2366

Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
0121 507 5902

Mincom users can contact us using Typetalk by using the prefix 18001 before the phone number. For more information about Typetalk click here.

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