Our specialist team carries out assessments to detect hearing impairment in children aged 0 – 18 years (and up to 19 years for children with severe learning difficulties).
They aim to pick up impairments as early as possible to lessen any impact on speech and language development, educational attainment and social development.
Accessing the service
We have an open referral system, which means that anyone can refer your child to our service with your consent using our standard written referral form. Generally our referrals come from health visitors, nurseries, schools and GPs.
You can also make direct contact with the service to refer your child if you feel they are having problems with their hearing or need their hearing assessed. Once we have received a referral, we ask that you contact the office to arrange an appointment. We aim to see all children within 6 weeks of referral.
Our service works closely with the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) departments in all the local hospitals and the regional centres so referrals are made directly by the audiologists when surgery or medical treatment is being considered.
With your appointment letter you will be sent an information leaflet about the service that includes the clinic location, office contact numbers and a map giving directions to the clinic venue. Where appropriate, leaflets explaining conditions (such as glue ear) are given out in clinic. You may also be signposted to other sources of information about specific conditions or treatments.
You are welcome to bring someone with you to your appointment. Should you need to bring along other children, please bring another adult with you who can look after them while your child is having their hearing tested.
Who will treat your child?
Your child will be seen by a fully qualified specialist paediatric audiologist and an audiology assistant. Each specialist audiologist is registered with the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists, (RCCP) and has undertaken specific training at degree level. Audiology assistants have undertaken specific training and are supervised by the specialist audiologist.
They will carry out hearing assessments, fit hearing aids and offer advice and guidance on hearing aids.
There are a variety of tests they can use to assess your child’s hearing. These vary depending on your child’s age and development. We may need to carry out several different tests to build up a clear picture of your child’s hearing.
The tests that may be used include:
- Tympanometry – all ages
Tympanometry measures how well your child’s eardrum is moving and whether there is any blockage behind it that may be interfering with their ability to hear.
- Oto-Accoustic Emissions – from new born to around 4 months
This test tells us how well the nerves inside your child’s inner ear are working. A small earpiece is placed gently into your child’s ear canal and a series of quiet sounds are played. The ear’s response to the sound is then measured.
- Visual Response Audiometry (VRA) – from around 6 months to around 2 years
Different types of sound are played to your child either through speakers or a small earpiece that is placed gently into your child’s ear canal. When your child hears the sound they will turn their head and a visual “reward” is activated, such as a video or a puppet lighting up.
- Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) – from around 3 years and above
Sounds are played through headphones and your child is asked to respond when they hear a sound.
- Speech Discrimination – from around 3 years and above
We use a variety of tests to help us understand how clearly your child hears speech. These tests all involve asking your child to identify different toys or pictures.
Keeping you involved in your child’s care is important to us. We will keep you updated on your child’s progress either face-to-face or in writing. A full report will be sent to your GP after your visit.
Hearing tests are carried out in purpose-built test booths that have to meet specific standards. We offer these facilities at the locations below. The choice of location depends on your availability and how easy it is for you to get there. We will let you know about the specific place and time in your appointment letter.
- Aldershot Centre for Health (Hospital Hill, Aldershot, GU11 1AY)
- Bourne Hall Health Centre (Chessington Road, KT17 1TG)
- Woking Community Hospital (Heathside Rd, Woking, GU22 7HS)
If you need to contact the service or wish to change or cancel an appointment, please call the Paediatric Audiology Administration Team Department on 01483 362 619 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newborn hearing screening team
The Jarvis Centre (Stoughton Road, Guildford, GU1 1LJ) Tel: 01483 362 623.