Information for Referrers
Covid-19 service update. We are currently accepting referrals and doing what we can via phone or attend anywhere video appointments. Face to face appointments will be offered where they are clinically required. Open access hearing aid repairs are closed until further notice. Postal repairs and technical support is available Monday-Friday via phone or e-mail. Batteries and heairng aid supplies can also be posted out upon request. If hearing aid repairs cannot be done via post, we will offer a booked appointment.
Stakeholder / GP Training & Education
The Audiology service provides education and training such as supporting GP courses and courses for other hospital staff (medical, nursing, administration etc). We also provide training directly to the volunteers for Action on Hearing Loss and Sensory Solutions.
We provide training to all medical students as part of the ENT rotation, so that graduates from the Peninsula Medical School have a basic knowledge of audiometry and communication methods needed for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Communication with Commissioners
The Head of Audiology attends 6-monthly meetings hosted by Kernow CCG for all their audiology providers. There is also attendance at any meetings required to support service and pathway development for Devon or Cornwall services.
Because of our highly qualified staff team and close relationship with our medical and surgical colleagues, we are able to see most cases which are audiologically complex via direct referral. Patients will be allocated to either the AQP pathway or one of the non-AQP pathways either on receipt of the referral (if the symptoms or needs are clear from the referral) or once their assessment is complete. The only exclusions are:
- Unilateral or asymmetrical, or pulsatile or distressing tinnitus lasting more than 5 minutes at a time
- Vertigo (Vertigo is classically described hallucination of movement, but here includes dizziness, swaying or floating sensations that may indicate otological, neurological or medical conditions).
- History of discharge other than wax from either ear within the last 90 days
- Sudden loss or sudden deterioration of hearing (sudden=within 1 week, in which case send to Emergency Department or Urgent Care ENT clinic)
- Rapid loss or rapid deterioration of hearing (rapid=90 days or less)
- Fluctuating hearing loss, other than associated with colds
The GP will be informed in writing of the pathway the patient is on following the assessment.
Prior to an Audiology referral the GP needs to ensure:
- There is no complete or partial obstruction of the external auditory canal preventing full examination of the eardrum and/or proper taking of an aural impression. If wax is obscuring the eardrum or there is an ear infection, local wax care or treatment procedures should be followed.
- There is no abnormal appearance of the outer ear and/or the eardrum. Patients with the following should be referred to the ENT team in the first instance:
- Inflammation of the external auditory canal
- Perforated eardrum
- Active discharge
- Eardrum retraction
- Abnormal bony or skin growths
- Swelling of the outer ear
- Blood in the ear canal