Audiology services failing deaf children in England


The ‘shocking state’ of England’s children’s audiology services is revealed in a report published this fall. 1000 parents were consulted for Listen Up!, a report by the National Deaf Children’s Society, that highlights a number of failings, ranging from children being fitted with hearing aids that do not work, to audiologists misdiagnosing deaf children.

79% of parents reported waiting more than the Government’s recommended waiting time for appointments for replacement earmoulds and almost all (96%) of parents reported waiting too long for the earmoulds to be ready.

In addition, parents reported waiting more than the recommend time for their child’s first audiology appointment with almost half (44%) reporting they waited five weeks or longer. A further 20% waited over eight weeks. The report coincides with the Party Conferences to target MPs, as the Government has recently stopped assessing the quality of children’s audiology services.

Jo Campion, Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “The state of children’s audiology services in England is extremely concerning. Evidence clearly shows these vital services are not up to standard, yet the Government has recently stopped assessing services against quality standards, leaving little incentive or support for services to improve. This can only make matters worse for the 35,000 deaf children in England. We’re calling on the Government to ensure quality standards continue to be assessed.”

The National Deaf Children’s Society’s research was prompted by an earlier report by the NHS that revealed one third of audiology services are failing to meet basic standards. The full report and references can be found on the NDCS website.

Source: NDCS