Children’s audiology appointments

Read about how long your child will have to wait for an appointment and how often they will be seen.

How long will we have to wait for an appointment?

Each country in the UK has a maximum waiting time target set for the first assessment and treatment. The assessment target is counted as part of the overall treatment target, not in addition to.

NOTE: The term ‘assessment’ includes hearing tests.

The term ‘treatment’ includes hearing aid fitting, grommet surgery and cochlear implant surgery.

Current waiting times:

  • England – first assessment 6 weeks, treatment 18 weeks
  • Wales – first assessment 8 weeks, hearing aid fitting 14 weeks, other treatment 26 weeks
  • Scotland – first assessment 12 weeks or less (varies by Health Board), treatment 18 weeks
  • Northern Ireland – first assessment 9 weeks, treatment 18 weeks.

You do not have to go ahead with any treatment options in these timescales if you need further time to think about the options (for example during cochlear implant assessment), or when your consultant advises a period of monitoring first (for example prior to grommet surgery).

It is good practice to see children with permanent hearing difficulties much sooner than the overall NHS waiting time targets. For example, in England you can expect your first audiology assessment within four weeks and if hearing aids need to be fitted, this is likely to be no more than six weeks later.

How often should my child be seen by audiology?

Children who wear hearing aids should be offered regular routine appointments so that their hearing and ears can be checked, hearing aids adjusted if necessary and their progress with the hearing aids monitored. When children are very young or have complex needs these appointments may be as frequently as every three months. As children get older the number of visits will gradually decrease until school age when they should be seen at least once a year.