Coronavirus/Covid-19 key information for patients and visitors

Click/tap here for key public-relevant Coronavirus/Covid-19 information for patients, visitors and members of the public.

Audiology

The Audiology Department is responsible for diagnosing and managing disorders of the ear. Specifically, we diagnose and treat hearing loss and other disorders associated with the ear, such as tinnitus or speech processing disorders. While the Department is financed by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, the staff and their training are provided by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

COVID-19 and Audiology services

The Audiology Department is now open to patients with booked appointments only.

Click here for information and guidance on patients attending Audiology Outpatients for face to face appointments.

Hearing aids information

To all our clients who have NHS hearing aids, we offer a postal service for batteries and or tubing replacements.

New batteries: you can phone or email Audiology and we will post them to you.

Lost or broken aid: you need to phone or email Audiology and we will post a replacement.

Alternatively there is a box at the front reception desk of the hospital to leave hearing aids to be repaired. They will then be posted back to you.

Earmoulds: Audiology are taking new impressions where required, by appointment only and we sometimes can order replacement moulds from the manufacturers using a scan from the last mould. Please email or phone Audiology for this service.

Please note, the hearing aid repair clinics at Ripon, Boroughbridge, Alwoodley and Chapeltown are temporarily closed.

Please contact the Audiology Department for further information.

Battery Safety Alert information

Due to recent safety concerns, remember to keep your hearing aid batteries out of sight and out of reach of children and pets to prevent them being swallowed. This could be in a raised cabinet, or a cupboard locked with a key or child-locking mechanism. If you drop a battery then pick it up straight away. It’s important to consider that curious pets such as dogs have also been known to swallow hearing aid batteries.

If your child has swallowed a hearing aid battery, seek immediate medical attention. If your pet has swallowed a hearing aid battery it is advised that you seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. When changing your hearing aid batteries, avoid placing the battery in your mouth or holding it between your lips. This can contaminate the battery, or more seriously lead to accidental ingestion. When the batteries run out, keep them somewhere secure and safe until such a time that you can take them to a place for safe disposal via recycling.

Audiology

Most people come into contact with the Audiology Department for hearing aid fittings. In the NHS, digital hearing aids are fitted routinely and are on a par with good quality, private hearing aids. They usually go behind the ear and while some need a mould to deliver the sound into the ear, most people can be fitted with discrete thin tubing; this is all dependent on the severity of the hearing loss.

The Audiology Department at Harrogate District Hospital provides a diverse range of services. These include:

Adult diagnostics

We provide a variety of diagnostic tests within Audiology depending on the individual’s requirements.
These may include pure tone audiometry, tympanometry which assesses middle ear function, speech audiometry, otoacoustic emissions and Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR).

The Audiologists may also refer patients to Bradford Royal Infirmary for Cochlear Implant assessments and York Hospital for Bone Anchored Hearing Aids.

Assessment and management of adults and children with learning difficulties/complex needs

We do not have a specific service to meet these needs due to the small number of people requiring such a service. For now, our senior paediatric and adult rehabilitation team are able to test people with additional needs and we will create appropriate clinic time and space to cater for such patients. We are looking at the extent of need and may have a dedicated clinic in the future.

Hearing aid fitting

Hearing aids for adults and children are digital and are fitted with peer-reviewed amplification targets to ensure correct volume and clarity of sound. In all cases we use real ear measures to test the hearing aid while it’s in the user’s ear. If this is not possible, we use a test ear.

Hearing aids can be set up with various programmes to help in specific situations, such as when there is constant background noise or where a loop system is installed (on your TV for example). Nearly all the aids that we fit are Bluetooth-compatible. This means that there is the potential for streaming speech and music from devices such as a phone or iPod.

Hearing aid repair

These sessions cater for NHS aids and deal with everyday hearing aid problems. As well as sessions at Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Community Hospital, we also run outreach clinics in a range of community locations for basic hearing aid maintenance such as hearing aid batteries, retubing and repairs.

Download a step by step guide to cleaning, retubing and fitting your hearing aid earmoulds.

Download a step by step guide on how to clean, retube and fit open fit tubes.

Location Appointment required?
Harrogate District Hospital Yes
Ripon Community Hospital Yes
Church Lane Surgery, Boroughbridge Yes
Chapeltown (batteries only) Yes
Alwoodley Medical Practice Yes


Hearing aid batteries are available at some local GP surgeries.
Batteries are available from the Audiology Department by post. Please send us a stamped addressed envelope.

Hearing aid replacement

If your hearing aids are lost or damaged through neglect, we can replace them but will charge to cover this cost. The current charge is £80 per hearing aid. Children under 18 years old and some adult patients may be exempt from the charge. A copy of our replacement aid policy can be requested from the Department.

Home visits

We are able to provide home visits to patients who are housebound and unable to attend hospital appointments. Home visits take much longer than hospital visits so we ask your GP to inform us in writing if you are housebound. If you are physically able to attend hospital but can’t get a taxi or a friend/relative to bring you, it might be able to arrange transport through the ambulance service. Please speak to your GP for more information.

We can carry our hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, reassessments and impressions during home visits but we are unable to make adjustments to the output of the hearing aids. If adjustments are required, you can arrange to post the aid to us or arrange for a relative or friend to bring it into the Department during a repair clinic.

Newborn hearing screening

We assess and diagnose hearing loss in babies referred from the newborn hearing screening programme. We carry out testing to determine the extent and type of hearing loss and arrange further medical assessment and treatment. We also liaise with non-NHS services to provide support for parents of children with hearing loss.

Tinnitus assessment and rehabilitation

Some people find that they hear a noise in their ears or head which won’t go away. This noise, called tinnitus, is nothing more than a mild inconvenience for most people. However, for others it can be very troublesome. There are several causes including hearing loss or suffering head trauma, but stress and anxiety are also very potent triggers.

Unfortunately, there are no pills to take or surgery to undergo to alleviate the noise. However there are many treatment options such as hearing aids, maskers or simple self-help psychological techniques. Their effectiveness depends on the willingness of the patient to try them out. Assessment might involve a hearing test and one or two questionnaires to allow the therapist to work out a treatment strategy.

Location

The Department is based at Harrogate District Hospital, but we attend Ripon Community Hospital four days a week.

At Harrogate District Hospital, Audiology can be found in the main Outpatient Department on the ground floor, in Zone Four.

Audiology services at Ripon Community Hospital are based in the main building on the first floor.

Our outreach clinics are held at:

Alwoodley Medical Centre

Saxon Mount

Leeds

LS17 5DT

Church Lane Surgery

Boroughbridge

YO51 9BD

Chapeltown Health Centre

Spencer Place

Leeds

LS7 4BB

Referrals

We accept referrals from GPs, ENT consultants, paediatricians, health visitors and speech and language therapists.

Key staff

Head of Audiology for Harrogate, York, and Scarborough: Kate Iley
Clinical Scientist, Paediatric Lead for Audiology: Dr Anthony O’Connell
Lead/Specialist Audiologist at Harrogate District Hospital: Christine Brindle

Useful links