Frequently Asked Questions
Do we still offer school hearing assessments?
From September 2021 routine hearing screening in primary schools within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland was discontinued.
It is therefore highly important that all health and education professionals coming into contact with school age children are aware of how to identify children who may be struggling with a potential hearing difficulty and know how to make a referral into our service for assessment and further support.
Please look out for the following signs which may indicate an underlying hearing loss:
- Regularly not responding when called
- Regularly asking for repetition or responding inappropriately
- Regularly asking for the volume to be raised on electrical devices
- Regularly mishearing or mispronouncing words
- Speech and communication delays/ difficulties
- Difficulties with reading and learning generally
- Problems with concentrating, tiredness and frustration which affects their behaviour
- Children new to the UK who struggle excessively with picking up the new language
How to refer
Referrals to the Community Paediatric Audiology Service will be accepted from any health or education professional where a concern has been raised about a child’s hearing.
However, please remember it is important to ensure you have gained consent from the parent / guardian prior to making a referral to our service for a hearing test.
To enable us to assess the child appropriately it is also important that you mention any special requirements, such as the need for an interpreter or disabled access and inform us of any developmental delays or communication needs.
Please send referrals using one of the following methods:
- via our secure email address: email@example.com
- via e referral on SystmOne if you have this access
- via letter to;
Clinic Referrals Team,
Paediatric Audiology Service,
Leicestershire Partnership Trust
Bridge Park Plaza,
Bridge Park Road,
NB: Unfortunately we are unable to accept requests directly from parents, but families can contact their health and educational professionals to discuss concerns and request that a referral be made.
How do I get an appointment?
If your child is aged between 7 months and 16 years ( up to 19 years if SEN) you can access an appointment with our service by speaking to your Health Visitor, School Nurse, General Practitioner, Community Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist , Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (S.E.N.C.O.) or other health professional.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We aim to see you within 6 weeks of the referral being received by this service.
Once we receive the referral we will send you a letter in the post asking you to ring us to book an appointment date. The agreed appointment will then be confirmed by letter and ( if requested) a text message. Please ensure you provide us with an up to date contact number and address. Please check your appointment letter thoroughly for the details of where your appointment will be held. More information about the venues can be found (here).
It is our aim to obtain as much information as possible from your first appointment. However, sometimes we may need to see your child more than once to obtain all of the results that we need.
Is there parking available?
Please see our (Clinic Venue Facilities) for specific information about each clinic.
Please be aware that car parking facilities are limited and can be busy at peak times, so do allow plenty of time for this. Car parking charges may also apply at some sites.
NB: We kindly request that you arrive 10 mins before your allocated appointment slot to ensure you are ready to come through promptly when the audiologists calls you. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for this service we may need to reschedule your appointment if you arrive late.
What should I do if my child is unwell on the day of the appointment?
If your child is unwell, please contact us and we can rearrange the appointment for you.
If your child has a runny nose, but is otherwise generally well in themselves (e.g. no temperature, diarrhoea or sickness), then we will still be happy to see you.
What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring your child’s red Health Record Book. This helps us to check for any relevant information.
We kindly ask that only one adult attends with the child to be tested. We highly recommended that no other children are brought with you to the appointment in order that we can fully focus on your child throughout the appointment.
The testing environment needs to be very quiet and free of distractions to enable your child to concentrate and listen for the very small sounds that he/she is expected to respond to during the testing. Unfortunately this is generally not possible when other children are present and can often lead to unreliable results or further appointments being required.
What to expect at your child’s hearing test:
The test will usually take around 20 minutes. We will initially want to ask you a few questions relating to your child’s hearing, speech and language and general health.
What will the Audiologist need to know ?
The Audiologist will want to know;
- Any problems your child is having with their hearing
- Any concerns about speech and language development
- Any changes in behaviour
- Any recurrent ear, nose, throat or chest infections
- Any operations/injuries/serious illness
- Any health issues at or just after birth
Will I find out the results of the hearing test on the day?
The Audiologist will discuss and explain any results obtained and advise if any further appointments are required.
If your child is found to have a hearing loss a plan will be agreed, which may include either a follow up test in this service or a referral to UHL Hearing or Ear, Nose and Throat Services for further assessment or treatment.
The Audiologist will provide you with the opportunity at this point to ask any questions that you may have.
If you have any other questions before your appointment, please contact us on 0116 295 3919 and ask to speak to an Audiologist who will be able to help you.
Children’s Hearing Tests and Video Resources
Depending on your child’s age and ability, one of the following methods of testing may be used:
Your child will sit on your lap or a small chair whilst the Audiologist presents a variety of different sounds from behind, which your child will be initially encouraged to respond to. Your child will be mildly distracted from the front to keep their attention at an optimal level. By changing the level of the sound the audiologist can determine the quietest levels your child is responding to. This test can assess the full range of overall hearing, with both ears listening together, but cannot give specific information about each individual ear.
** COMING SOON** Distraction test video
Visual Response Audiometry:
Your child will sit on your lap or on a small chair and will be mildly distracted from the front to keep their attention at an optimal level. Sounds will be played by the Audiologist from speakers within the room, which your child will be initially encouraged to respond to. When the child correctly turns to look for the sound a visual reward/ animation will appear on a screen. By changing the level of the sound the audiologist can determine the quietest levels your child is responding to. This test can assess the full range of hearing overall, with both ears listening together, and if the audiologist thinks information about each individual ear is necessary this can also be attempted with small ear inserts, if your child is tolerant.
** COMING SOON** Visual Response Audiometry test video
This test involves playing a game where your child will be taught to wait for a sound and then to perform a simple task, ie dropping a ball on a stick or moving a toy, when the sound is heard. Sounds are presented through a speaker within the room. By changing the level of the sounds the audiologist can determine the quietest sounds your child is responding to. This test can assess the full range of hearing overall, with both ears listening together, but does not give specific information about ear individual ear.
** COMING SOON** Performance test video
Toy Discrimination Test:
This is a basic screening test to identify if your child can tell the difference between similar sounding words at quietest levels. Your child will be asked to point to easily recognised objects from a set. All items in the group are matched with another with the same middle vowel sound, but different consonant sounds at the beginning and end of the word. For instance, “duck” and “cup” or “spoon” and “shoe”. We will check that your child is initially able to identify each item at the start of the test by asking, “show me the duck?” etc. Once assured that all objects are recognisable the volume of commands will be lowered down to quietest levels. If your child is then unable to identify the correct items at this level then this may indicate that he/she is unable to hear the full range of sounds and further testing is required.
** COMING SOON** Toy test video
Pure Tone Audiometry:
This test involves your child listening to a variety of sounds through headphones and letting the Audiologist know when a sound is heard. Older children will usually be asked to respond to the sounds by saying “yes”, or by pressing a button each time the sound is there. Different types of headphones can be used to assess how well the sound is transmitted, either through the outer and middle ear, (air conduction) , or by placing a small vibrating devise behind the ear, which takes the sound directly to the inner ear through the bones in the head (bone conduction). The responses gained through these different methods will help the audiologist identify the type and likely cause of any hearing loss.
** COMING SOON** PTA video
Audiometry by Play:
For younger children Pure Tone Audiometry can be adapted to incorporate play, to keep the child interested and motivated, ie dropping a ball on a tick, putting a brick in a box etc.
** COMING SOON** ABP video
This is a gentle examination of your child’s ears involving a torch –like instrument and is not painful.
This is not a test of hearing, but the Audiologist may need to test the function of the middle ear, to check for the presence of fluid/congestion, which may be causing some temporary problems. This is done by inserting a soft probe into your child’s ear. Again, this is not painful and only takes a few seconds.
** COMING SOON** video
Oto Acoustic Emissions (O.A.E.):
The Audiologist may need to check the function of the cochlear ( organ of hearing) to rule out any significant permanent hearing loss. This involves inserting a soft probe into your child’s ear. This is not painful but does require your child to sit still and be quiet for a short period of time.
In this section you will find videos that demonstrate an appointment in our service. It can be useful to watch these videos with your children to build their confidence for when they attend.
** COMING SOON ** Video of an appointment (Younger Child)
** COMING SOON ** Video of an appointment (Older Child)
Information highlighting the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in children can be found here.
More information can be obtained at www.ndcs.org.uk
Contact details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone their freephone helpline on 0808 800 8880
For more information on glue ear or otitis media with effusion please visit www.nice.org.uk
At your appointment there will be Friends and Family Feedback cards available for you to complete. We welcome any comments or suggestions you wish to make about your experience using this service and we will use this information to shape future service improvement plans.
Alternatively, you can send us feedback using the contact details below;
By email: email@example.com
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
Bridge Park Plaza
Bridge Park Road