Welsh Government
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Improved services for deaf and hearing-impaired children

The Welsh Assembly Government has published a new set of quality standards which will improve services for deaf and hearing impaired children in Wales.

In Wales, about 40 children every year are diagnosed with significant permanent deafness which will cause problems in developing speech unless they receive help. Most of these are found to be deaf early in their lives following hearing screening after shortly after birth. Some are diagnosed later as deafness can occur at anytime throughout childhood and into adulthood. Many other children and young people have temporary problems and need hearing tests to help sort out the best treatment.

Children and young people and their families need a high quality service and recognising this, the Welsh Assembly Government has supported the development of the Quality Standards for Paediatric Audiology (Wales).

The standards have been designed to work in conjunction with existing guidance, covering all aspects of service including access and the journey through the service whether it’s a simple hearing test or full support for a family with a deaf child or young person.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said:

“These new standards aim to improve patient care and ensure the help and support available for children with hearing difficulties is consistent across Wales.

“The implementation of these standards will encourage close working between NHS professionals and external agencies to deliver the best services for the children and young people of Wales.”

Dr Sally Minchom, audiology standards project director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said:

“The standards emphasise working together, as paediatric audiology services are delivered by a health team with important links to education, social services and the voluntary sector.

“This project will ensure that Wales is at the forefront of quality assurance of Paediatric services.”

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