Walsall Healthcare Trust provides Audiology and Hearing Aid services for children from 0 to 16 years of age.
Children’s Audiology is located on Route 124 on the First Floor of Walsall Manor Hospital. It is staffed by Audiologists based in the Main Adult Audiology Department on route 008 on the Ground floor of the Manor Hospital.
This page contains information about the services that are available, Staff, and contact details. There are also some links to useful websites and locally produced leaflets.
All babies in England are offered screening tests for hearing at, or soon after, birth. Learn more about the newborn hearing screening programme (external website).
If your baby is referred from the hearing screen you will be offered an appointment in audiology. There is more information available here about this so that you know what to expect.
We use a range of methods to assess hearing. You can find out more about this here from the NHS website – Click Here
The choice of test will depend on your child’s development. An initial assessment for a child over 6 months will take between 30 and 45 minutes and during this session we will ask a number of questions to find out more about your child as well as making some informal observations of them and assessing their hearing. The results will be discussed with you on the day and you will get a letter confirming the results and the plans for reviewing your child if appropriate.
A number of assessment methods are available for us to try. Initial appointments may last 45 minutes to give us a good opportunity to find out as much as we can about your child’s hearing. Sometimes we cannot be confident that a child is hearing all sounds well and more than one appointment may be needed. We may also discuss with you options for assessing your child’s hearing using more objective tests.
For children who would benefit from amplification we will discuss with the family the options available and arrange hearing aids if needed. Some children wear hearing aids in both ears, some may need only one hearing aid. Children with permanent hearing losses in both ears will benefit from hearing aid fitting as early as possible even in the first few weeks or months of life. Sometimes children with fluctuating, mild or temporary hearing losses can get benefit from hearing aids but may not require long term use once the hearing improves. Most children will be fitted with hearing aids that they can wear behind the ears. Sometimes we fit hearing aids which are worn on a headband. All our hearing aids and earmoulds can be provided in a range of colours or with pictures. We will review your child’s progress with their hearing aids regularly. Some children with severe or profound hearing losses may not get benefit from conventional hearing aids. We will discuss with you the need to refer your baby or child on to more specialist services such as the Midland Implant Centre. All children with hearing loss which is permanent will be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor, a Teacher of the Deaf and a paediatrician.
We offer a weekly walk in session for battery provision and hearing aid repairs every Tuesday afternoon between 1.30 and 4 pm in Children’s Audiology. These sessions are ideal for new impressions, replacement of lost or broken hearing aids or retubing of earmoulds. For complex or urgent repairs it is advisable to contact us first by phone.
Our Hearing Therapist is Alison Flower. She provides dedicated hearing therapy clinics for children and their families and can provide information, counselling and practical assistance for children experiencing issues with hearing loss, balance problems, auditory processing disorders, tinnitus and hyperacusis.
A well fitted hearing aid or aids will give your child good access to speech and sounds within a fairly close radius. Sometimes there is a need to improve hearing at distances beyond those that the hearing aids can optimise. There are a number of accessories that you can purchase (or sometimes borrow from charitable organisations such as the NDCS). More information is available here
We can give advice about extra technology that may be helpful and can sometimes demonstrate technology. More information is available here
Regardless of the results of your baby’s hearing screen, some babies are at greater risk of developing hearing loss later on. If you baby is considered at risk the Newborn hearing screeners or paediatricians will ask audiology to see them at age 8 months for hearing assessment. Some babies are excluded from hearing screening for a number of reasons and will be offered audiology testing soon after birth as an alternative with follow up planned according to the risk factor which led to the referral
All children in Walsall Schools will be offered a school entry screen in Year 1 of school. School will notify parents of the Audiology visit and parents will be able to opt-out of this screen. Your child’s hearing will be checked by the screener during the school day. When the audiologist visits the school concerned parents or teachers can request testing for children in other school years. For any children who don’t hear all of the sounds at the first screen the screener will revisit the school for a second test within a few weeks. If your child does not pass the second screen in both ears we will write to you to offer an appointment for your child to come to the children’s audiology department for a hearing test.
This is the main audiology office telephone. Office Hours are 8.30 – 12.30 Monday-Friday.
This is the contact telephone number for families of Children who are under the care of Audiology for known hearing loss and/or who wear hearing aids. This is also the contact for professionals working with these children.
Email Address. firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Audiology Appointments Tel 01922 721172 Ext 6687
This is the main contact for parents who wish raise concerns about a child’s hearing, make a new referral or cancel or change an existing Community Audiology Appointment.
Professionals should send paper referrals to:
Head of Department – Mrs. Tina Harris, Principal Audiologist
Paediatric Lead – Mrs Sue Hodges, Advanced Audiologist.