Children's hearing (paediatric audiology) West Hertfordshire

  • Children's hearing service at HCT The children’s hearing service (also known as paediatric audiology) offer a comprehensive family friendly service for babies, children and young people living in West Hertfordshire where there is a concern about their hearing or a known hearing difficulty.

    We are a multi-disciplinary team consisting of skilled and experienced paediatric audiologists, a consultant in audiovestibular medicine and audiology assistants. We assess, manage, and treat children of all ages and abilities, including children with complex additional needs.

    We liaise closely with our colleagues in the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, the adult audiology team and the education support service for hearing impaired children to ensure a thorough and smooth service is provided for all children.

    We hope this website will cover all the information you may need in advance of your visit to the children’s hearing service and for the continued support of your child.

    Information for those awaiting an initial appointment

    When your child's referral arrives in the Children's Hearing Service this will be triaged by one of our audiologists and we will establish the urgency of the referral and the most appropriate clinic for your child's appointment. In some cases a referral may be rejected if deemed inappropriate or if there is missing information.

    Once a referral is accepted by our service, you will be sent a referral acceptance letter. If you have received a referral acceptance letter from our service; we would like to reassure you that your child remains on our waiting list and will be offered an appointment once they reach the top of the waiting list. Although we aim to see all children within 18 weeks of referral, unfortunately our waiting times for routine hearing assessments have increased significantly beyond this. We are unable to give an approximate time frame for any appointments.

    If you have significant concerns regarding your child’s hearing, please contact us on the departmental email address and our clinicians will endeavour to respond to your email as quickly as they can. Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in your email.

    When we are able to offer your child an appointment, you will normally be contacted by letter with an appointment date and time. Occasionally short notice appointments will be offered by telephone. If you are unable to attend the appointment, please contact us as soon as possible to rearrange the appointment.

    Information for those awaiting a follow-up appointment

    We aim to see all children on time for their follow up appointments, unfortunately our waiting times for routine hearing assessments have increased significantly. If you have significant concerns regarding your child’s hearing, please contact us on the departmental email address and our clinicians will endeavour to respond to your email as quickly as they can. Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in your email.

    Contact the service

    For queries regarding an initial appointment for your child following a referral please contact the Referral Hub

    Email: HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net 

    Phone: 01923 470 680 (Option 2 > Option 1) (9am-4.45pm)

    For queries regarding a follow up appointment for your child or any other query for example regarding a hearing aid or hearing aid supplies please contact us via the Children’s Specialist Services admin team.

    Email: herts.audiology@nhs.net

     

How the service is provided

The majority of appointments are delivered face to face. We currently run clinics at  three locations in west Hertfordshire:

Please check your appointment letter carefully to ensure you attend the correct clinic. We only see patients with pre-booked appointments and do not accept walk ins.

Our standard opening hours are 8.45am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday. We are closed on weekends and on bank holidays. Appointments are occasionally offered outside of these times.

Some appointments may be offered by telephone of virtually via ‘Attend Anywhere’. Information on using ‘Attend Anywhere’ can be found at: nhs.attendanywhere.com/callers

If you have a booked virtual appointment with us, the link to connect with us can be found on: nhs.vc/hct-cyp-audiology

Who is eligible for the service

  • Children aged 0-16 years who are registered with a Herts Valley GP practice (up to 18 years of age if they have a permanent hearing loss or special educational needs)
  • Children who are under 5 years and primarily under ENT West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust but who need their hearing monitored.

What will happen at your appointment

At all initial appointments a member of the team will take a full history, examine your child’s ears and conduct an assessment of their hearing and middle ear function. The diagnostic hearing assessment will be tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage. Newborn babies are required to be settled in order for the hearing assessment to be carried out. For older babies and children, the tests are made as fun as possible to encourage the child to participate. The test procedure will be explained to you during the appointment. The degree and nature of any hearing loss is confirmed as quickly as possible (which sometimes may take more than one visit) and the effect of any hearing loss on the child is evaluated. The results will be fed back to you and a management plan will be agreed upon.

To prepare your child for their hearing assessment in the audiology department, you may find it helpful to watch a video with them, following a patient's journey through their audiology appointment.

VIDEO: What to expect at your appointment (Peace Children's Centre)

Useful information

We liaise closely with our colleagues in the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, the adult audiology team and the education support service for hearing impaired children to ensure a thorough and smooth service is provided for all children.

The best way to contact us with queries is by email: herts.audiology@nhs.net

Information for hearing aid users

If you require hearing aid batteries or supplies please contact us on the departmental email address and we can arrange for these to be posted out.

Please look at our hearing aid booklet for a ‘hearing aid maintenance and troubleshooting guide’.

If your child requires new ear moulds or you have a broken hearing aid, then please contact us on the departmental email address

If you have any other questions or queries, please contact us on the departmental email address.

Useful links:

Glue ear

If your child has previously been diagnosed with glue ear, please see information below:

How to use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABLIfUAEvLI

Newborn hearing screening

Newborn Hearing Screening involves testing babies hearing within the first few weeks of life. It is now carried out across the country, which means that every baby born in England will have their hearing tested shortly after birth. If you baby does not pass their new born hearing screen, they will be referred to the Children’s Hearing Service for an hearing assessment.

The West Herfordshire Newborn Hearing Screening Programme is based at Watford General Hopsital. If forms part of the UK NHS screenig prgramme offered to all families.

Newborn Hearing Screening 
Women’s and Children’s Building
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
Watford
WD18 0HB

 Telephone: 01923 436 098

For further information regarding the new born hearing screen can be found here:  Newborn hearing screening | First Diagnosis (ndcs.org.uk)

NHS newborn hearing screening programme
www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/newborn-hearing-test.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a referral

There are a number of ways a child can be referred to our service. These include via their GP, health visitor, paediatrician or other health professionals such as a speech and language therapist or via the newborn hearing screen or school hearing screen programme..

We accept referrals for children registered with a West Hertfordshire GP from any professionals looking after that child or from the child’s health visitor or GP.

To refer a child please complete the Referral form

Referral form and email this to HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net

We also accept e-referrals through Systemone for professionals who have access to this option.

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01707 388036 or email pals.hchs@nhs.net.

We would also love to hear about your experience on our service, please complete a survey by clicking here.

Children's hearing (paediatric audiology) West Hertfordshire

  • Children's hearing service at HCT The children’s hearing service (also known as paediatric audiology) offer a comprehensive family friendly service for babies, children and young people living in West Hertfordshire where there is a concern about their hearing or a known hearing difficulty.

    We are a multi-disciplinary team consisting of skilled and experienced paediatric audiologists, a consultant in audiovestibular medicine and audiology assistants. We assess, manage, and treat children of all ages and abilities, including children with complex additional needs.

    We liaise closely with our colleagues in the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, the adult audiology team and the education support service for hearing impaired children to ensure a thorough and smooth service is provided for all children.

    We hope this website will cover all the information you may need in advance of your visit to the children’s hearing service and for the continued support of your child.

    Information for those awaiting an initial appointment

    When your child's referral arrives in the Children's Hearing Service this will be triaged by one of our audiologists and we will establish the urgency of the referral and the most appropriate clinic for your child's appointment. In some cases a referral may be rejected if deemed inappropriate or if there is missing information.

    Once a referral is accepted by our service, you will be sent a referral acceptance letter. If you have received a referral acceptance letter from our service; we would like to reassure you that your child remains on our waiting list and will be offered an appointment once they reach the top of the waiting list. Although we aim to see all children within 18 weeks of referral, unfortunately our waiting times for routine hearing assessments have increased significantly beyond this. We are unable to give an approximate time frame for any appointments.

    If you have significant concerns regarding your child’s hearing, please contact us on the departmental email address and our clinicians will endeavour to respond to your email as quickly as they can. Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in your email.

    When we are able to offer your child an appointment, you will normally be contacted by letter with an appointment date and time. Occasionally short notice appointments will be offered by telephone. If you are unable to attend the appointment, please contact us as soon as possible to rearrange the appointment.

    Information for those awaiting a follow-up appointment

    We aim to see all children on time for their follow up appointments, unfortunately our waiting times for routine hearing assessments have increased significantly. If you have significant concerns regarding your child’s hearing, please contact us on the departmental email address and our clinicians will endeavour to respond to your email as quickly as they can. Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in your email.

    Contact the service

    For queries regarding an initial appointment for your child following a referral please contact the Referral Hub

    Email: HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net 

    Phone: 01923 470 680 (Option 2 > Option 1) (9am-4.45pm)

    For queries regarding a follow up appointment for your child or any other query for example regarding a hearing aid or hearing aid supplies please contact us via the Children’s Specialist Services admin team.

    Email: herts.audiology@nhs.net

     

How the service is provided

The majority of appointments are delivered face to face. We currently run clinics at  three locations in west Hertfordshire:

Please check your appointment letter carefully to ensure you attend the correct clinic. We only see patients with pre-booked appointments and do not accept walk ins.

Our standard opening hours are 8.45am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday. We are closed on weekends and on bank holidays. Appointments are occasionally offered outside of these times.

Some appointments may be offered by telephone of virtually via ‘Attend Anywhere’. Information on using ‘Attend Anywhere’ can be found at: nhs.attendanywhere.com/callers

If you have a booked virtual appointment with us, the link to connect with us can be found on: nhs.vc/hct-cyp-audiology

Who is eligible for the service

  • Children aged 0-16 years who are registered with a Herts Valley GP practice (up to 18 years of age if they have a permanent hearing loss or special educational needs)
  • Children who are under 5 years and primarily under ENT West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust but who need their hearing monitored.

What will happen at your appointment

At all initial appointments a member of the team will take a full history, examine your child’s ears and conduct an assessment of their hearing and middle ear function. The diagnostic hearing assessment will be tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage. Newborn babies are required to be settled in order for the hearing assessment to be carried out. For older babies and children, the tests are made as fun as possible to encourage the child to participate. The test procedure will be explained to you during the appointment. The degree and nature of any hearing loss is confirmed as quickly as possible (which sometimes may take more than one visit) and the effect of any hearing loss on the child is evaluated. The results will be fed back to you and a management plan will be agreed upon.

To prepare your child for their hearing assessment in the audiology department, you may find it helpful to watch a video with them, following a patient's journey through their audiology appointment.

VIDEO: What to expect at your appointment (Peace Children's Centre)

Useful information

We liaise closely with our colleagues in the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, the adult audiology team and the education support service for hearing impaired children to ensure a thorough and smooth service is provided for all children.

The best way to contact us with queries is by email: herts.audiology@nhs.net

Information for hearing aid users

If you require hearing aid batteries or supplies please contact us on the departmental email address and we can arrange for these to be posted out.

Please look at our hearing aid booklet for a ‘hearing aid maintenance and troubleshooting guide’.

If your child requires new ear moulds or you have a broken hearing aid, then please contact us on the departmental email address

If you have any other questions or queries, please contact us on the departmental email address.

Useful links:

Glue ear

If your child has previously been diagnosed with glue ear, please see information below:

How to use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABLIfUAEvLI

Newborn hearing screening

Newborn Hearing Screening involves testing babies hearing within the first few weeks of life. It is now carried out across the country, which means that every baby born in England will have their hearing tested shortly after birth. If you baby does not pass their new born hearing screen, they will be referred to the Children’s Hearing Service for an hearing assessment.

The West Herfordshire Newborn Hearing Screening Programme is based at Watford General Hopsital. If forms part of the UK NHS screenig prgramme offered to all families.

Newborn Hearing Screening 
Women’s and Children’s Building
Watford General Hospital
Vicarage Road
Watford
WD18 0HB

 Telephone: 01923 436 098

For further information regarding the new born hearing screen can be found here:  Newborn hearing screening | First Diagnosis (ndcs.org.uk)

NHS newborn hearing screening programme
www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/newborn-hearing-test.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a referral

There are a number of ways a child can be referred to our service. These include via their GP, health visitor, paediatrician or other health professionals such as a speech and language therapist or via the newborn hearing screen or school hearing screen programme..

We accept referrals for children registered with a West Hertfordshire GP from any professionals looking after that child or from the child’s health visitor or GP.

To refer a child please complete the Referral form

Referral form and email this to HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net

We also accept e-referrals through Systemone for professionals who have access to this option.

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01707 388036 or email pals.hchs@nhs.net.

We would also love to hear about your experience on our service, please complete a survey by clicking here.