Sheffield Children's Hospital wins prestigious audiology accreditation
13 June 2016
Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust has been praised by the National Deaf Children’s Society for receiving a prestigious accreditation for its paediatric audiology service. It is the first of its kind in Yorkshire to achieve this, and one of only a handful across the UK.
The Trust’s audiology team has achieved IQIPS (Improving Quality in Physiological Services) status. This badge of quality shows they are meeting standards set by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and providing deaf children with the very best care.
Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust is one of only 19 paediatric audiology services, out of 134 across the country, to achieve IQIPS accreditation. Nowhere else in Yorkshire is accredited for the full range of audiology services.
Claire Wheeler, whose son is deaf and has used the audiology services for 10 years, said: “The staff always go over and above to provide a really outstanding service, so I’m not surprised they have received this award.
“When my son was first diagnosed, it was hard to take in, but the audiology team was so supportive and reassuring. It was a tough time and they gave us so much advice, guiding us through all the different support available.
“I’ve been able to pass their advice on to other families through the Sheffield Deaf Children’s Society, so they are helping even more people than they realise. I can’t praise them enough!”
The audiology team had to submit evidence about their facilities, patient experiences, safety and service quality to achieve accreditation. Four assessors then visited over a three day period to judge the service first-hand.
Teresa Loxley, Paediatric Audiology Service Manager at Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “Although it is not mandatory to be an accredited service, we have always strived to provide a first class service to all the patients and their families, and it is fantastic that this accreditation is proving the excellence we’re committed to.”
The Trust signed up to IQIPS voluntarily to show that it provides the highest standard of care. Paediatric audiology services are no longer independently assessed for quality and safety unless they are IQIPS accredited.
The previous mandatory inspection scheme was abolished in 2012, despite NHS reports showing that a third of audiology services were missing government targets and failing deaf children. The National Deaf Children’s Society is campaigning to make it mandatory for all children’s audiology services to be IQIPS accredited.
Alison Lawson, Regional Director for the National Deaf Children’s Society in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Children learn and socialise through hearing, so good audiology services can be vital to a deaf child’s success in life.
“This accreditation will come as a great comfort to parents of deaf children in Sheffield who, until now, have had no way of knowing if the audiology services their child uses are fit for purpose.
“I hope other audiology services across Yorkshire and the Humber will follow Sheffield’s lead and demonstrate their quality by becoming IQIPS accredited.”
Paul Stennett, Chief Executive of UKAS, added: “Many congratulations to everyone on the audiology team. This accreditation reassures patients that the audiology services at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust are of the highest quality.
“I am also delighted that a solely-paediatric audiology service has achieved this recognition, as it advances the aims of the National Deaf Children’s Society’s ‘Listen Up!’ campaign.”
To find out more about the ‘Listen Up!’ campaign to improve audiology services, go to www.ndcs.org.uk/listenup.
For further information, please contact Lindsey Frodsham, Media Relations Officer on email@example.com or 020 7014 1178.
Notes to editors
• The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families.
• There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. The National Deaf Children’s Society helps deaf children and young people thrive by providing impartial, practical and emotional support to them and their families, and by challenging governments and society to meet their needs.
• The National Deaf Children’s Society believes that every deaf child should be valued and included by society and have the same opportunities as any other child.
• For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk. For further support, parents can contact the National Deaf Children’s Society Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat