As you know these are very expensive pieces of equipment. At the moment a large number of children use their systems at home (as many receivers form part of the hearing aid) and charge up transmitters etc. It is important that this equipment is looked after. If your child has receivers that form part of their hearing aids can they please use `bungee` retainer cord in case their hearing aids fall out or they are likely to remove them. If the receivers are detachable (as they are for some cochlear implants for example) they must be held in place by retainers where available and if removed kept in a secure place. If you are concerned about potential loss please discuss with your Teacher of the Deaf how they can be kept in school.
We are very fortunate that the FM systems are funded locally and need to keep losses to a minimum to reduce cost both to SIS and the wider Health Service.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have released new guidance related to cochlear implants for children. Under the new guidance children should be considered for assessment under the following hearing loss criteria:
Severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing sounds only that are louder than 80dBHL (pure tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80dBHL) at 2 or more frequencies (500Hz, 1,000Hz, 2,000Hz, 3,000Hz and 4,000Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids. Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:
For Children: speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.
This change in criteria may result in many of the children and young people we support falling within the new adjusted criteria. At our recent Children’s Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG) meeting this was discussed and an agreed way forward was developed.
When CYP come for their regular hearing aid reviews if they ‘fall’ within the new criteria this will be discussed with the carers and if they wish to consider a referral to a CI centre this will be discussed through an appointment with an ENT Consultant. If in light of this new guidance families wish to discuss this with ENT before any hearing aid review please contact your Teacher of the Deaf who will organise an appointment to discuss with an ENT consultant.
If your child needs earmould impressions please remember to ask your Teacher of the Deaf to check wax levels. This may save a trip to clinic only to find out impressions can`t be done due to too much wax. When you book an appointment please ensure you tell Audiology the age of your child to ensure they allocate the appointment to the appropriate member of the team. Once children are school age they will only need impressions around 3/4 times a year so please to use the holidays to avoid time out of school.
Over the autumn term 2019, the two Local Authorities will be working alongside SIS to develop an action plan from our recent service review in order to address the recommendations in the report and the priorities of the Local Authorities. Once this has been developed any proposed changes to SIS will be shared with all stakeholders. Until that point the service is continuing on an ‘as is’ basis from September 2019.
For those CYP who have a cochlear implant please see below the guidance from the two implant programmes concerning the loss of devices.
Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme
‘As a result of the increasingly challenging cost of replacing lost processors, Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme (NAIP) have reminded all their families of the importance of using safety clips to help prevent further losses. The loss of a processor will also now result in a delay to the processor upgrade schedule. This delay can be avoided by having the processors insured, and in the event of a processor being lost, passing on the replacement cost recovered by an insurance claim to NAIP. Processors may be insured as named items on home insurance policies. Alternatively, NAIP can provide details of an insurance company that will provide a policy to cover processors.’
Midland Implant Programme
‘To avoid lost processors, information about how to care for your child’s processor and what we expect of you, such as always using the correct retention/safety options, is explained to you when your child is first given their processor and you are asked to sign to say you understand and agree with our advice. You will have been given a copy of this form. As a minimum, we expect all pre-school and primary age children to use a safety clip (Critterclip). If a processor does get lost, it will either be replaced with an older model from our stock, or if we have to buy a replacement processor, the 5-yearly processor upgrade ‘clock’ will be reset. Following our advice and using the recommended Huggies, Snugfits, safety clips etc will reduce the chances of your child’s processor getting lost. If you wish, you can insure the processors against loss either via your home insurance or via a specialist provider and we can give you further information about this on request, or please refer to the pack you were given at your child’s 1-month review. Insuring the processors means that in the event of a loss, your child will receive a like for like replacement and the next upgrade won’t be delayed`