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Paediatric Audiology (Hounslow and Richmond)

Audiology is the healthcare science of hearing and balance disorders, the main aim of which is to help people overcome the barriers placed in their way as a result of hearing or balance problems.

Our Paediatric Audiology team is based at Teddington Memorial Hospital and Heart of Hounslow for patients in the Richmond, Teddington, Hounslow and Ealing areas. We also see patients at a number of local outreach clinics.

We see children from birth up until the age of 25* for a range of hearing assessments as well as hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation.

Healthcare professionals such as GPs, health visitors, speech and language therapists, school nurses and paediatricians refer children to our service.  If you are a parent who is concerned about your child’s hearing you can also contact us directly to make the referral.  

*This depends on whether the young person is in education. Once they young person has turned 18, dependent on their wish and needs, we can refer them to their local adult audiology service.

Our aim is to deliver prompt family friendly and seamless service, locally.

Friends & Family Test - Audiology service

October 2016 patient feedback scores:

Per cent of patients recommending the trust:

  • 95%

Tell us about your experience of our audiology service by completing this short online survey.

IQIPS logo
Our Paediatric Audiology department is proud to deliver an IQIPS accredited service:  The IQIPS Accreditation Scheme is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians of London. The programme is sponsored by the Department of Health and the Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England to promote and recognise good quality practice in physiological services.


The service provides:

  • Hearing screening  for newborns as well as at school entry level
  • Age appropriate diagnostic assessment, including electro-physiological diagnostic assessment. This includes immediate hearing tests for babies referred to us from the newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP).
  • Further prompt referrals for specialist intervention including cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids
  • Hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation
  • Audiological support to children with hearing loss and their families in the educational set up by working with specialist teachers of the hearing impaired and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs).
  • Wax removal service for children with hearing aids


Our team co-ordinates prompt specialist intervention, multi professional and educational support for every child in our care. We are part of a sector wide professional network and take part in peer review supervision in order to continue professional development.

User engagement is crucial to the improvement and development of our service. We have two local children’s hearing services working groups (CHSWG), actively led by parents, involving multi professional and voluntary agencies.

If you would like to give feedback or comments to help us improve our service please complete this short online survey
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audiology team photo

The trust's Audiology team is led and managed by the head of service. The team is made up of 2 team leaders, senior audiologists, audiologists and administrative staff. 

For more detailed information about the team, you can download the audiology service team structure here

When your child attends their first appointment, an audiologist will discuss your concerns and take a detailed history of their development. In order to help answer some of the questions it is useful to bring along your Personal Child Health Record (PCHR)- a little red book given to you shortly after your child's birth. 

We will then carry out a hearing assessment that is appropriate for your child’s age and needs. Children who are below 3 years of age are usually seen by two clinicians and it may not always be possible to get all the information in one session.  It is important to remember that hearing is tested in very quiet conditions. Towards the end of the session the clinician explain the assessment results. With your consent the Audiologist will send a copy of the report to your home address and to healthcare professionals involved in your child’s care within 10 working days. 

Please make sure your most up to date contact details and mobile number is available to us for future communication.

Click here to read an easy-read story board pdf, which explains the process.

Following on from a child’s hearing assessment a trial of hearing aid(s) may be suggested by the audiologist. There are two parts to a hearing aid: the hearing aid which sits at the back of the ear, and a custom-made ear mould.

The appointment for fitting of a hearing aid will have been made after discussion around the need for amplification. Once consent has been obtained we will need to take an impression of the child’s ear for the ear mould.

Occasionally, if appropriate, older children may be fitted with a hearing aid that consists of a smaller ear dome and thin tube that fits into the ear. However, it is important to note that the selection of hearing aids is dependent upon the child’s age and individual hearing needs.

If necessary an appointment will be made to take an impression of the child’s ear shape. This is to ensure the hearing aid can be fitted without discomfort. An appointment for the hearing aid fitting will either be made by the audiologist with parents at the time of the ear mould impression appointment or will be sent out once the ear mould is back. 

Please click here for detailed information about what happens at a hearing aid fitting appointment

Hearing tests we perform

Each test checks child in different ways to build up a total picture of your child’s hearing loss. The tests used depend on your child’s stage of development and It is not always possible to get all the information in one session.  It is important to remember that hearing is tested in very quiet conditions.

We use objective and /or behavioural tests.

Objective hearing tests

For these are tests child’s participation is not essential and they  are mainly used to assess hearing levels in babies and are similar to the hearing tests carried out when a baby is first born as a part of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP).

Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE)

A small earphone is placed into the baby’s ear and sounds are played to the cochlea (hearing organ). The response from the cochlea is then picked up by the earphone and recorded on to a computer screen. This test alone does not give an indication of hearing levels but is used in combination with other hearing tests.

Auditory brainstem response (ABR)

This test is carried out when children are sleeping and in a relaxed and settled state. Audiologist cleans areas behind the ear and places sticky pads behind each ear and one on the upper forehead. Small earphones are placed into the ears so that different pitches of sounds can be played at different levels. This test allows us to see how well the ear is responding to sound.

Tympanometry

This test tells us how well the eardrum is moving. A small ear tip is placed into the ear to check for any build-up of congestion behind the eardrum.  

 

Behavioural hearing tests

Behavioural hearing tests involves the use of toys , rewards and listening games to gain more information about children’s hearing levels as they get older.

Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA)

This test is and usually suitable for children aged from six months. They are seated in the centre of the sound treated room either on their own chair or, if they’re younger, on a parent or guardian’s lap. Different sounds are then played either through loudspeakers or small earphones or headphones. The child is taught to turn their head every time they hear a sound and to look for a flashing light or moving toy as a reward

Speech tests

This test involves Audiologist asking child to identify /repeat toys pictures or objects to determine quietest listening levels and child’s ability to discriminate different sounds

Pure tone audiometry (PTA)

Children aged between two and-a-half years to five years will be asked to listen to different sounds through headphones and play a game. For example they may be asked to move toy people into a toy boat or put different coloured blocks on to a stand every time they hear a sound through the headphones.

Older children from school age onwards may be asked to press button every time they hear a sound through the headphones.

Audiogram is a chart used to record hearing tests results

Useful links:

Audiologist working with a patient

Newborn hearing screening


General audiology information and support 


C2Hear Online

  • C2Hear Online is a series of short, interactive, multimedia videos about hearing aids, hearing loss and communication. 

 


Toy libraries

Toy libraries are where children with disabilities or their parents can borrow toys to take home.  Children need a great variety of toys not only to play with but also to develop skills.

The Family Information Service

The Family Information Service offers free information, advice and guidance on all aspects of family life to parents, carers, young people and anyone working with families


Local support groups for parents with children with hearing impairment:

Ear plugs available from HRCH

One in seven people in the UK are hard of hearing or deaf, but hearing loss caused by noise exposure or frequent ear infections is preventable.

We offer a range of custom made ear plugs to patients and the public as a preventative measure against hearing damage.

We take an impression of the ear and send it to the specialised laboratory to create a bespoke tailor made mould for your ear, which ensures the highest possible quality and performance levels from your ear plugs.

Custom made swim plugs for adults and children

Children and adults are more susceptible to infection through exposure to water while swimming, especially in foreign water.

Swim plugs:

Our custom made swim plugs can help prevent ear infections, protect against swimmer’s ear, and are beneficial for individuals who have been advised to keep the inside of their ears dry.

The Trust’s range of swim plugs are long lasting and reusable. They are also floatable and come in a range of colours.

Fitting and advice is provided by our team of professionals

Pricing:

  • Paediatrics swim plugs: £45 
  • Adult swim plugs: £50

Payment details and locations:

All of our ear plugs/moulds are tailor made to fit your ear. We do this first by taking an impression of your ear, before creating the tailor made product just for you.

Professional support and advice is provided on noise damage.  

We can take impressions of your ear at a variety of locations across Hounslow or Richmond: 

 

Payment:

Payment can be made by cash or cheque and should be made prior to your ear impression being taken.

Custom made ear moulds – protection against loud music

Loud music is a major cause of hearing damage and can lead to premature hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis (reduced tolerance to sounds).

Hearing damage cannot always be reversed, however many people are not aware of this risk and do not take preventative measures.

We provide a range of noise reduction ear plugs - which are custom made to fit the shape of your ears and suit the type of noise levels you are exposed to. They are also reusable and washable.

These include:

Musicians' ear plugs

Wth filters/or without filters - designed specifically for people who need to reduce volume whilst maximising the frequency range and quality of audio they hear.

  • Musician plugs without filters: £65

  • Musician plugs with filters: £125-£150

Ear defenders

With filters/or without filters – noise plugs aimed at people who need to reduce audible volume at gigs, night clubs, concerts, loud sporting events or working in loud environments.

  • Ear Defenders/noise plugs with filters: From £60-70

  • Ear Defenders/noise plugs without filters: £45-£55


Ear plugs are perfect for noise reduction when out and about in loud or noisy environments as they limit harmful levels of noise to safe levels.

Find out more:

To find out more about the products on offer, or to book an appointment and make a purchase call 020 8714 4108 or 020 3771 6030

Contact us:

Hounslow

Children’s Hearing Clinic
Heart of Hounslow Centre for Health
92 Bath Road
Hounslow
TW3 3LN

Tel No: 020 3771 6030         
Fax: 020 8630 3272

Email: hrch.audiology@nhs.net

Richmond

Paediatric Audiology
1st Floor Outpatients
Teddington Memorial Hospital
Hampton Road
TW11 0JL
 

Tel No: 020 8714 4108
Fax: 020 8714 4165

Email: hrch.audiology@nhs.net

Opening times:

  • Monday to Friday:  9am – 5pm  

  • Occasional Saturday clinics are available - please enquire

  • Occasional early morning and evening clinics are available – please enquire

  • Other clinics available in Sheen, Chiswick, Ealing and Feltham - please enquire

Referral information:

The hearing tests are carried out strictly by appointment only. 
 

A referral is needed from a health care professional (e.g. health visitors, school nurses, speech and language therapists, GPs, paediatricians).

Parents who have concerns about their child’s hearing can contact us directly; we will provide advice and make appointment for assessment if required. Referral forms for the services in Hounslow and Richmond can be downloaded below:

These films were produced by C2HearOnline: www.youtube.com/results?search_query=c2hear