About the Audiological Medicine department

Find out about the Audiological Medicine department at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Audiological Medicine is a medical speciality providing diagnosis and management of patients with disorders of hearing and balance. Hearing problems also include tinnitus and auditory processing disorders.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital, we see patients as young as new-borns right through to the late teenage years and accept referrals from within the hospital and from external professionals.

A range of technology is used to assist patients with hearing deficits including digital hearing aids, bone conduction hearing implants, middle ear implants, cochlear implants and vibrotactile aids. The team of audiologists, clinical scientists and audiovestibular physicians provide an integrated service.

We provide a routine service for the fitting of digital hearing aids, being a second wave site on the NHS national Modernising Hearing Aid Services programme.  

In addition, we have developed a number of protocols and contributed to the formulation of several national guidelines for the management of children with different complex conditions.

Our services

Your child has been referred to us so we can carry out a series of assessments to determine their hearing levels. These assessments will be carried out by Audiologists and Audiovestivbular Consultants and may take up to 60 minutes.

The audiologist will carry out a series of tests depending on your child’s age and needs. We will attempt to make the assessment relaxed and fun with toys and games.

Some children will require several hearing assessments depending on their needs as it is not always possible to get all the information in one session. Other children may require regular monitoring of their hearing such as children at risk of ototoxicity from their medication (e.g. Oncology and Cystic Fibrosis patients).

At the end of the appointment, your child will have consultation with the Audiovestibular Consultant who will will take a detailed history of your child’s development and discuss your concerns and also explain the results thoroughly. They will send you a copy of the report to your home address as well as to other healthcare professionals involved in your child’s care.

A detailed explanation of the types of assessments we provide is attached in the document below:

Paediatric hearing assessment leaflet

Your child has been referred to us for consideration of a hearing amplification device used to assist with hearing loss called a bone conduction hearing device. These devices can be worn on a soft headband initially.

You will be seeing an Audiologist for the appointment, and it may take around 90 minutes. During your appointment, we will carry out a series of tests to assess your child’s hearing. We aim to make the tests as fun and relaxed as possible for your child by using toys and games.

After determining your child’s hearing, we will programme and discuss how to use the bone conduction hearing device, you will receive information leaflets to take with you at home.

If your child’s hearing aid stops working, please follow the troubleshooting instructions below. If you have further queries, or the hearing aid has been lost, please contact us on 020 7813 8315, or email: Audiology.info@gosh.nhs.uk

Baha troubleshooting leaflet

Osia implant information leaflet

Bone conduction and middle ear implant info leaflet

Following a hearing assessment, the audiologist or the audiovestibular consultant may suggest hearing aids if they feel your child may benefit from amplification and if they meet criteria.

We fit a range of hearing aids suitable for your child depending on their age, degree of hearing loss and physical condition.

If your child is eligible for hearing aids within our service, we will need to take an impression of their ear to begin. Once the earmould is ready, we will ask you to bring your child back to the department for the hearing aid fitting. You will be seeing an Audiologist for the hearing aid fitting and the appointment may take around 90 minutes.

If your child’s hearing aid stops working, please follow the troubleshooting instructions below. If you have further queries, or the hearing aid has been lost, please contact us on 020 7813 8315, or email: Audiology.info@gosh.nhs.uk

AA English Hearing Aid information booklet FINAL

Children born with Craniosynostosis are reviewed under the Craniofacial Unit at GOSH. The Craniofacial Unit at GOSH is one of four supra-regional funded centres in England. At GOSH, we work as part of a large multidisciplinary craniofacial team who offer a detailed and holistic assessment of each child to plan tailored treatment now and in the future.

Audiology’s role in the craniofacial team is to carry out a series of tests to assess your child’s hearing. We aim to make the tests as fun and relaxed as possible for your child by using toys and games. If any hearing problems are identified, a management plan will be formulated. Typically, these assessments take place every Wednesday. These assessments will be carried out by Audiologists and may take up to 45 minutes.

Welcome to the hearing assessment section of your child’s cleft palate review day.

Your child has been referred to us as part of a larger multidisciplinary team review for cleft palate. During this review, you will be seen by a range of specialists, such as speech and language therapy, audiology, dental, and psychology.

During your appointment with audiology, we will carry out a series of tests to assess your child’s hearing. We aim to make the tests as fun and relaxed as possible for your child by using toys and games. These assessments may take up to 45 minutes.

After determining your child’s hearing, you will be directed to the next appointment of your cleft palate review day. Future hearing appointments may be offered as part of the cleft palate review day. Your child may be referred to local audiology services in the interim if hearing monitoring is required.

Welcome to the Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) section of the Audiological Department

Your child has been referred to us so that we can carry out a series of APD tests to assess any possible processing difficulties. Currently the APD assessment entails two appointments, one telephone assessment to take a detailed history and one face to face appointment to carry out the assessment. The telephone assessment will take approximately one hour and the face-to-face assessment will take approximately two hours. During the assessment, your child will be asked to listen to different sounds or words.

Children with APD can hear sounds but may have difficulties interpreting and processing the information. APD can also co-exist with other conditions a child has. For more information on APD and our referral criteria, visit Auditory processing disorder.

Welcome to the Balance Clinic section of the Audiological Department.

Your child has been referred to us so that we can carry out a series of tests to assess their balance function, and to work out what is causing any problem. We aim to make the tests as fun and relaxed as possible for your child. These assessments will be carried out by our Audiologists and Audiovestibular consultants and may take around 90 minutes.

There are lots of reasons children can feel dizzy or have poor balance. In your balance appointment, the Audiologist and the Audiovestibular consultant will perform a series of tests to determine how well the balance organs (in the ears) are functioning. With your appointment letter, you will find attached a document describing what to expect during the appointment.

As it is a consultant lead clinic, at the end of the appointment your child will have a follow-up consultation either on the day or as a follow appointment in the near future.

Balance leaflet

Welcome to the Auditory Brainstem Response test (ABR) section of the Audiological Department.

Your child has been referred to us so that we can assess their hearing. This appointment is generally booked for 90 minutes. This allows time for your baby to settle because they need to be asleep for the assessment. It is recommended to bring things to help your baby to settle, such as additional milk or dummies. To prepare for the test, small sticky pads (electrodes) are placed on the head and sounds are played through headphones. The test measures the pathway of the sound from the ear to the brain. Sometimes it may take several appointments to complete the hearing assessment.

Auditory Brainstem Response Information Leaflet

ABR under General Anaesthetic information Leaflet

Welcome to the Advanced Electrophysiology section of the Audiological Department.

In this clinic we will perform a range of objective tests to establish your child’s hearing function. Objective tests are test that your child does not have to respond to for us to establish their hearing or ear function. These tests may be performed for a variety of reasons including if your child is unable to participate in/complete other types of hearing assessments, there are concerns regarding your child’s hearing pathway, to diagnose specific types of hearing related issues, and other reasons.

Our Audiology department run a joint clinic with the Ophtamology team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The dual sensory clinic involves testing children with difficulties affecting both vision and hearing. These assessments will be carried out by audiologist and audiovestibular physicians and may take around 90 minutes.

For further information and how to get referred, learn about our dual sensory clinic.