Report into hearing care and treatment published.
Recommendations to improve audiology services have been made to the Scottish Government, Health Boards and third sector partners.
An Independent Review of Audiology Services in Scotland sets out 55 recommendations for improving governance and structure, education and leadership.
Professor Jacqueline Taylor MBE conducted the review for Ministers following failures identified in audiology treatment for children.
Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said:
“I would like to thank Professor Taylor and her team this thorough report that sets out clear options for improving audiology care across the country. We must recognise that many families were badly let down by these services in the past and this report's recommendations will help ensure that is not allowed to happen again.
“The report is clear in its call for better leadership, structure and governance at all levels. Some of the recommendations are in areas where we are already taking action, such as increased funding for staff training.
“What is abundantly clear in their findings is that good audiology care can be life changing, and patients recognise and value the expertise and compassion of staff. We will fully consider the findings and set out the next steps to Parliament in the coming months.”
Professor Taylor said:
“The wide-ranging recommendations in this report provide the foundation for improvements which will ensure high-quality, joined-up, patient-centred services. Audiology staff are working incredibly hard, often in challenging circumstances and during the course of the Review process we have seen many examples of good practice.
“We have also identified a range of issues which need to be resolved. I am extremely grateful to the patients, parents, audiology staff and stakeholders who helped to shape this Review. We have listened carefully, and I believe that by working together, we have a real opportunity to develop excellent services across Scotland.
“The Review Report is not an end in itself: it is the first step in a process of change which will require time, resources and national leadership to deliver. We hope that the Scottish Government will respond positively to the recommendations and will ensure that the words in this report, are turned into actions.”
The Independent Review of Audiology Services in Scotland was commissioned by ministers in January 2022 following an independent review of NHS Lothian Paediatric Audiology Service carried out by the British Academy of Audiology which published its' final report in December 2021.
In July the Scottish Government provided targeted funding of £26,000 to Health Boards for Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) training for audiology staff, in direct response to an early recommendation made by the Review.