BAA 2017 Conference: What can delegates expect?


BAA Conference 2016

The 14th annual BAA Congress takes place on 16th and 17th November at the Bournemouth International Centre in Dorset. We offer here a preview of what delegates can expect to see and discuss during the gathering, starting with an interview with the BAA President.

BAA say there will be a strong clinical focus to the conference; sessions that cover current research and basic science will enable delegates to have a well-rounded experience with new knowledge and skills to take back to their departments and clinics. Key sessions will cover topics such as listening fatigue, disruptive technologies, hearing and learning disabilities, telehealth, improving effi ciency, building resilience in deaf children and middle ear implants.

The streamlined programme has 3 main parallel tracks that include early morning discussion groups and workshops as well as the popular ‘All You Need to Know’ sessions. New for 2017 are a series of Back to Basics tutorials - a series of practical skills sessions that will cover a range of topics aimed at those wanting to refresh their knowledge or for those about to start in a new area of clinical work. Topics include hearing aid features, counselling skills, ear moulds, testing children on ENT clinics and tinnitus. There will also be a session for discussion of case studies, covering all aspects of clinical work delegates are invited to submit cases for discussion to facilitate problem solving, shared learning and examples of good practice.

Interview with Michelle Booth, BAA President

What are you personally looking forward to most at conference?

My area of interest clinically is tinnitus so I look forward to hearing the inspirational words of Professor Dave Baguley as he talks about Tinnitus and Ototoxicity. I am currently studying for an MSc in Healthcare Leadership with the NHS Leadership Academy/Birmingham University and one particular person in Audiology has been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me. I am therefore looking forward to hearing the lovely Ruth Thomsen talk about Leadership in Audiology. I will also be keen to hear our CEO, Wendy Farrington Chadd, talk about her thoughts on the Strategic Direction of the NHS and Audiology. Wendy has been a tremendous support to me in my presidential year and has many years of experience in the NHS at a senior management level. She is a great asset to BAA and will hopefully help us to define our strategic direction.

How has your 12-month Presidency been?

My presidency seems to have passed in a whirlwind. It only seems a minute ago I was taking the reins from Jagjit Sethi in November 2016 and here we are with only a few weeks to go before I pass the baton to Sue Falkingham in November 2017. Being President of BAA is something I could never have imagined when I started my career in Audiology in 1987 in Chesterfield, but it now sits up there as one, if not ‘the’, greatest achievements in my 30 years in the profession. I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, both in Audiology and beyond and hope that I have made some headway in getting Audiology and Healthcare science on the radar. I couldn’t have done it without a number of others, who have been there every step of the way to help and support me - my BAA Board colleagues without whom none of it would have been possible, my manager back at Kings Mill Hospital and the rest of the team, who have all but forgotten what I look like and my wonderful family. I hope I have made them all proud! I will be very sad for it to come to an end, but will continue to support the new president and the newly formed BAA Board in my role as Immediate Past President.

What impact has the CEO, Wendy Farrington Chadd, had on BAA?

Wendy joined us as CEO in December 2016 with a key remit of increasing the role of BAA nationally and enabling us to influence the policy and direction of hearing care and services. She has taken an active role in the Hearing Alliance in order to achieve this. She has also played a key role in BAA’s work on workforce. However, one of Wendy’s biggest tasks to date has been a review of how BAA functions. She has helped us to rewrite the job descriptions of all Board directors. We need to develop continuity which was a key factor in recruiting a CEO in the first place, but a review of Board roles will also enable us to operate more effectively and efficiently. She has also undertaken the onerous task of rewriting the BAA Constitution – no mean feat!

BAA President and Vice President
Michelle Booth, BAA President, with Vice President, Sue Falkingham. © V.A.

How is the 2016-17 annual plan progressing, will you achieve the four strategic goals?

Each year at the strategy meeting post-conference, we develop our annual plan for the coming year. This centres round the 4 strategic goals. Within each strategic goal, we develop objectives and aims which we then review at the end of the presidential year. I have been preparing the annual report which will be presented as the AGM at Conference and am pleased to say that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the BAA Board, its committees and teams, we can tick off many of our aims and objectives as achieved. We must remember that our Board, committees and teams work voluntarily, giving their time freely for the good of the profession, so being able to achieve many of our objectives is something to be celebrated and the BAA Board intend to do that in Bournemouth in a few weeks.

Follow the congress through Twitter @AudioWorldnews.

Read this in Audio Infos United Kingdom (#114).

Victoria Adshead, editor in chief of Audio Infos United Kingdom