Paediatric audiology local offer

 1. What is Children’s Hearing Services? 

The Children’s Hearing Services specialise in assessing and managing children and young people with different types of hearing and balance problems. We take a holistic approach by relating hearing and balance issues to children’s educational, emotional, developmental, medical, personal and social needs. The numbers of children who are detected to have ‘Permanent Childhood Hearing Impairment’ (PCHI) every year are small. In order to keep the specialist skills and quality of care, Children’s Hearing Services need to see a large number (critical mass) of children and young people with hearing and balance problems. Our service maintains the critical mass by providing the service to a large geographical area in Lancashire. We follow national and recognised best practice guidelines and see children from birth to 18 years of age if they are in full time education or until the age of 19 if there are special needs. The service has been rated highly in all the New-born Hearing Screening Programme Quality assurance reviews.

2. When are children referred to the Children’s Hearing Services? 

2.1 Conditions that can affect hearing

  • Failing the newborn hearing screening and being found to have hearing impairment
  • Failing the school hearing screening test
  • Illnesses, incidences and treatments associated with hearing impairment:
    • Congenital infections: Cytomegalovirus infection and others
    • Acquired infections: Bacterial meningitis, Sepsis, recurrent ear infections
    • Newborn conditions linked with hearing loss: Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy, Hyperbillirubinaemia requiring exchange transfusion
    • Syndromic conditions associated with hearing problems, including Down’s Syndrome
    • Anatomical malformation of the ears, head and neck (dysmorphic features, cleft palate, etc.)
    • Glue ear
    • Trauma: head injury with fracture of the temporal bones
    • Ototoxic medications/chemotherapy
    • Neurodevelopmental disorders including speech and language delay
    • Metabolic disorders
    • Haemolytic disorders
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Neurodegenerative conditions
    • Tumours affecting the head and neck
    • Children with challenging behaviour
    • Any professional or carer concerns regarding hearing

2.2 Complex hearing problems

  • Auditory Processing Disorder

  • Non Organic Hearing loss

  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)

  • Hypersensitivity to sounds (Hyperacusis)

  • Tinnitus

2.3 Children with dizziness

3. Who is in the team?

The Children’s Hearing Services are organized in two tiers. The Tertiary service provide complex and specialist care and support the local paediatric audiology services in different parts of Lancashire. The local services supported by the tertiary paediatric audiology service include Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, West Lancashire and Morecambe Bay.  The tertiary service, based at Fulwood Clinic in Preston, includes the following team members:

3.1 Consultant Paediatric Audio-vestibular Physicians

  • Dr. Ansar Ahmmed

  • Dr. Dipankar Mukherjee

3.2 Paediatric Audiologists

  • Mrs. Michelle Simey

  • Mrs. Amanda Houston

  • Mrs. Sally McGlynn

  • Ms. Julie Bath

  • Ms. Samantha Plummer

3.3 Office Administration support

  • Ms. Sharon Roscoe

  • Ms. Ruth Wright

  • Ms Jennifer Slater

  • Ms Emma Molloy

  • Ms. Karen Parkinson

4. Where are the clinics based?

4.1 Tertiary Service

Paediatric Audiology, Fulwood Clinic, 4 Lytham Road, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 8JB.

4.2 Local Services

Paediatric Audiology, Fulwood Clinic, 4 Lytham Road, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 8JB.

Children’s Hearing Assessment Service, Ashton Health Centre, Peddars Lane, Ashton, PR2 1HR

Broadoaks Child development Centre, Balcarres Road, Leyland, PR25 3ED.

St. Mary’s Health Centre, Cop lane, Penwortham, Preston PR1 0SR

Carnforth Clinic, Market Street, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9JU

Queen Victoria Centre, Thornton Road, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 5NN.

Whitegate Drive Health Centre, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9ES.

St Anne’s Primary Care Centre, Durham Avenue, St Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire, FY8 2BD

Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing, 44-46 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PQ. (Children from the West Lancashire area are now temporarily seen here).

5. What do we do?

  • Ask questions about your concerns, medical history, development and family history that are relevant for finding out the possible cause(s) of your child’s hearing, listening and/or balance problem(s).

  • Carry out the necessary physical examination, including looking into the ears.

  • Remove wax from the ears if the wax prevents us from examining the eardrums.

  • Carry out hearing, listening (Auditory Processing) and /or balance tests appropriate to your child’s developmental age.

  • Arrange additional investigations, if needed, to find the possible cause (s) of your child’s hearing, listening and/or balance problem(s). 

  • Discuss our findings and appropriate management options and involve you in the decision making about your child’s audiological care.

  • Fit your child with hearing aids and certain devices, if required.

  • Provide you with the necessary support for the devices we supply.

  • Liaise with other professionals in health and education in relation to your child’s balance and hearing needs.

6. How long are the appointments?

The duration of appointments can vary from half an hour to two and half hours, depending on the type of problem. While children requiring simple hearing assessments may be given half an hour, those with hearing aids often need appointments lasting for up to one and three quarter hours. Lastly assessment for Auditory Processing Disorder may last two and half hours. Importantly, to help keep our clinics running to time we may not be able to see you if you arrive more than 15 minutes late.

7. How to make an appointment

We accept referrals from GPs, other health professionals including health visitors, school nurses, speech and language therapists and also Teachers.

8. What to do if you can’t attend an appointment

Please contact us as soon as possible so we can offer the appointment to another child and arrange another appointment for you.

9. Want to contact the tertiary service?

Paediatric Audiology, Fulwood Clinic,4 Lytham Road, Preston PR2 8JB

Telephone: 01772 401310/12

E-mail: paediatric.audiology@lthtr.nhs.uk or lth-tr.Paediatricaudiology@nhs.net

10. Are interpreters available?

Interpreters can be arranged if requested.

11. Facilities available

Baby changing facilities are available at all clinic locations

12. Views on our service

Please feedback to us if you are happy with our service. Alternatively if you are dissatisfied we would value your comments to improve the service. Feedback forms are available in reception, or if you prefer feedback can be given via PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) on 01772 522972, E-mail: PALS@lthtr.nhs.uk