The Audiology team deal with the diagnosis and management of hearing (auditory) disorders.
Our specialist Paediatric Audiology Team consists of a range of specialists who assess and measure hearing and discuss the options available to help children hear as well as possible. They can prescribe personal hearing aids, sound processors and other listening equipment. They also give advice on how to encourage children to wear hearing aids, how to care for hearing devices and how to change the environment to help children hear better.
Our Educational Audiologist who provides advice and support to families of hearing-impaired children aged 0-2 years, can also monitor and evaluate speech development, language, and listening and communication skills to help children access the full range of support services that are available.
To provide care close to home outpatient services are offered in dedicated accommodation with state of the art facilities at Kingston Hospital, in local health care centres and in patients own homes.
The team work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as education services, local social service sensory impairment teams and voluntary organisations to deliver these services.
We aim to provide a responsive service, which is focused on each individual child’s needs and circumstances. We consider parents and caregivers a vital part of the team and aim to provide advice and support to help children hear as well as they can.
We are proud to be one of the first specialist paediatric services to gain accreditation under the Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS) programme for the full scope of adult, paediatric and complex services including children’s assessment and rehabilitation.
- To offer a friendly and professional service
- To deliver services in a timely way, and in partnership with others
- To operate within the context of safety, quality and compassionate care
- To be innovative and continually work to improve our services and outcomes
- To be efficient, productive and cost effective
What to expect during your child’s visit
There are a variety of tests that can be used to assess how much hearing your child has. The tests used will vary with your child’s age and stage of development. Whilst it should be possible to assess the hearing at any age or stage of development it may be necessary to perform several different tests over more than one appointment to build up a clear picture of your child’s hearing ability. The information below is offered as a guide to what to expect during your child’s appointment.
Tympanometry (All Ages)
Tympanometry is used to check how well the moving parts of the middle ear are working. A soft earpiece is held gently in the ear canal. A pump causes the pressure of the air in the ear canal to gently change. The eardrum should move freely with the change in pressure. This test is quick to perform and can be done on most children, however this cannot be done for some conditions such as excessive ear wax for example.
Oto-Acoustic Emissions (OAE) – Newborn to around 4 months
The otoacoustic emission test is commonly used for new-born screening and works on the principle that a healthy cochlear will produce a faint response when stimulated with sound. A small ear-piece is placed in the child’s ear. A clicking sound is played and if the cochlear is working the ear-piece will pick up the response and it will be recorded by a computer. An OAE can be recorded quickly, but it is affected by background noise, excessive ear wax or middle ear fluid. Whilst it is technically possible to use this test on any age group, in general a child older than 4 months is not still/quiet for long enough for this test to be performed.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) – Newborn to around 4 months
This test is used for babies who have not had a clear response on their new-born hearing screen. It measures sounds being sent from the cochlear and through the auditory nerve to the brain. The audiologist will lightly scrub the skin on the child’s forehead and behind both ears. Three sensors will then be placed on the skin. Sound is delivered through an insert or headphone and the response will be recorded on a computer. The audiologist will interpret the results to find the quietest level of sound being picked up by the hearing nerves. For an accurate result the child must be sleeping throughout, as other brain or muscle activity will interfere with the ability to record the response from the hearing nerve. The testing can take up to two hours. Whilst it is technically possible to use this test on any age group, in general a child older than 4 months is not still/quiet for long enough for this test to be performed.
Our Paediatric Audiology team offer a comprehensive, family-friendly and integrated paediatric assessment and rehabilitation service which is accredited by UKAS under the Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPs) programme.
We offer routine and advanced hearing tests, a hearing aid service and ongoing support to babies, infants and young adults at the following venues:
- Kingston Hospital
- Queen Mary’s Hospital
- Surbiton Hospital.
Our Educational Audiologist also offers support at home and at local support meetings and events.
To provide the best care we work closely with parents and a range of professionals including Teachers for Hearing Impaired Children, clinicians, (such as Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons, Speech & Language Therapists and Paediatricians) and Voluntary Support Agencies, (such as Surrey Deaf Children’s Society). This includes a local Children’s Hearing Services Working Group which meets regularly.
Paediatric Audiology – Children Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG)
The CHSWG is a group of professionals and parents who meet four times a year to work together to improve services for deaf children and their families
It includes representatives such as Advisory Teachers for The Hearing Impaired, Speech and Language Therapists, Newborn Hearing Screeners, CAMHS, Audiologists, Voluntary Organisations, (such as the NDCS and Surrey Deaf Children’s Society) and most importantly parents.
If you would like to be involved or if you have any questions or comments about the care your child has received? If so please contact a member of the Group or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit this page for more information.
A play group for preschool children with hearing and visual challenges is offered weekly Tuesday mornings at Warren park Children’s Centre, Kingston Hill KT2 7AX. Join us from 10am – 12 noon.