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What is the Children’s Hearing Service?

The Children’s Hearing Service (or Paediatric Audiology) is available for babies, children and young people in Manchester where there is a concern about their hearing or a known hearing problem. It offers a comprehensive and specialist clinical service to diagnose and help babies, children and young people with hearing loss.

A hearing problem is not always obvious, particularly in young children.  There are different degrees and types of hearing impairment.  Although a child may respond to some sounds around the home, they may not be able to hear all the sounds that they should be hearing.

  • A child may not respond to some sounds around the house e.g. a key turning in a lock, creaking floors, or a door opening.
  • A child may have difficulty hearing you when you are out of sight.
  • A child may not respond to quiet sounds but respond to loud sounds.
  • A child may have more difficulty hearing in noisy places.
  • A child’s behaviour may alter, becoming more disruptive or naughty.

The level at which a child can hear plays a major role in their development and their ability to develop good speech and language skills.

All babies born in England are offered a hearing screen shortly after birth. A clear response on the hearing screen means that there is unlikely to be a hearing loss that will significantly affect the development of speech and language.  This hearing screening test will allow those babies who do have a hearing loss to be identified early. Early identification is known to be important for the development of the child. It also means that support and information can be provided to parents at an early stage.

Who is the service for?

The Children’s Hearing Service is a service for babies, children and young people who:

  • need a hearing test because of concerns about their hearing or development
  • have a known hearing loss and need help and support

The service receives referrals from any professionals in contact with children and young people where there are concerns about the hearing. We are also happy to see children at the request of parents if your child has previously been seen in the department and discharged but you have concerns.

Who’s on the team?

The service is part of a local team of a range of different professionals working with children. The team includes:

  • Clinical scientists
  • Audiologists
  • Consultant community paediatricians
  • Audiological physicians
  • Specialist speech and language therapists
  • Teachers of the Hearing Impaired
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors

What services are provided?

Services offered include:

  • Specialist hearing assessment from newborn babies to adolescents
  • Fitting of hearing aids
  • Evaluation of progress with hearing aids
  • Assessment for cochlear implantation and other specialist hearing aids as appropriate

Our aim

  • To provide you with an excellent service to meet your individual needs
  • To give you individual attention
  • To offer you access to any service within the department
  • To offer you a suitable appointment date
  • To make every effort to see you for an appointment on time
  • To be available to you should you or your child need advice or reassurance
  • To provide support when you are coming to terms with a hearing loss
  • To offer you help if a hearing loss causes problems when yours or your child’s lifestyle changes
  • To ensure you and your child feel confident and happy using a hearing aid

The Paediatric Audiology Service follows national guidelines and recognised best practice whilst also meeting the individual needs of children and their families. We involve parents in the decision making for their child and in the development and improvement of our services.

We are also actively involved in the Children’s Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG) for Central Manchester that works to promote the development of all services to support children and their families.

What parents say about our service

“Clinical staff were very warm and welcoming and information was communicated at every step which made me feel inclusive. Thank you.”

“I was pleased with the service given.”

“We were given lots of information and our concerns were dealt with.”