Hospital expands audiology services into the community

PUBLISHED: 14:35 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:55 16 July 2018

Dr John Fitzgerald Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Audiology and Claire Vine, Lead Clinical Scientist for Paediatric Audiology. Photo: NNUH

Dr John Fitzgerald Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Audiology and Claire Vine, Lead Clinical Scientist for Paediatric Audiology. Photo: NNUH


The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has expanded two of its audiology services in to the community in a bid to provide care closer to home.

Plans are in place for the NNUH audiology team to open a community based children’s assessment clinic at the Clare School, Norwich in autumn 2018, where audiologists from the hospital will visit the school once a term to see younger people who are already under the care of NNUH.

As part of the clinic, audiologists will see these patients for their usual hearing aid check-ups in the school rather than at the hospital.

Claire Vine, lead clinical scientist for paediatric audiology said: “We knew that we had 13 patients under our care who also attended the Clare School, so we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to set up a community-based children’s clinic at the school.

“This will be of great benefit for our younger patients, as they won’t need to be taken out of school to attend hospital appointments, and the appointments will be carried out in a more comfortable and familiar environment with their teachers who know them well to maximise information we can get regarding their hearing.”

The Clare School is a specialist school for students aged three to 19 with physical and sensory complex needs, with some students also having complex medical and learning needs.

Ms Vine said: “This is a really exciting step for our audiology services and we’re looking forward to seeing what benefits it has for our younger patients.”

The second expansion in audiology services is the clinic facility move from Thorpe Road to Meridian Way, following the move of the Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA). The facility, which saw its first patients in mid-June, brings many benefits including an enhancement of testing facilities, larger rooms, a dedicated sound-proof booth, better acoustics for testing patients and free parking.

Dr John Fitzgerald, consultant clinical scientist and head of audiology, said: “As a team, we provide a comprehensive service involved with the assessment, management and therapeutic rehabilitation of people with hearing and balance problems and associated disorders. Moving facilities has been a real enhancement of our service, and we’re delighted to be offering greater care closer to the community and to be able to continue our close links with the NDA.”

Mark Davies, chief executive at NNUH, said: “I’d like to thank all those who have been instrumental in expanding both these community services. As a trust, we believe delivering care to our patients in an environment most comfortable to them is very important, and we’re looking forward to seeing the patient benefits as the services develop.”

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