Hearing tests for children are available on the NHS, so why have an independent centre?
Chear has been set up to give families rapid access to hearing services at their convenience. These include a full assessment of the child’s hearing, a discussion about possible options for intervention and, where appropriate, a review of the care already provided. We make a point of listening to your concerns because often parents know best about their child’s hearing.
For children of less than seven months, it is important to give as much auditory stimulation as possible so that the hearing pathways can reach their full potential. Chear specialises in precise testing of hearing in very young children.
My child passed the newborn hearing screen but I still have concerns about their hearing. Does the hearing need to be retested?
Yes, it is a good idea to go to your GP for a referral to the local audiology service. There are some types of hearing loss that cannot be detected by the newborn hearing screen. Also, the hearing may have been affected after the screen. Alternatively you can contact Chear for an appointment.
How much will the appointment cost?
Appointments costs vary between £65 and £250, with a standard price agreed before the appointment. Please see Appointments and Fees. We try to keep costs at a reasonable level to make our service accessible. Sometimes funding can be arranged through local health or education services. As of 1st January 2018 we are going to increase our assessments prices by 15% (due to there being no increase for 5 years)
What happens at an appointment?
We will ask you what you want from the appointment. We will assess the hearing in each ear separately and identify the part of the hearing system likely to be contributing to any loss. If you or your child has hearing aids, we will work out if they are providing the best amplification possible, including through speech testing. If new earmoulds are required, we will take impressions. We will then go through the results and options for intervention in detail. In the case of a child, they will be able to play while we go through their results. Please see the children or adults page for more details.
How many appointments will my child need?
Most children are seen for full testing in one appointment. It is not always possible to get the full picture of a hearing loss in one visit, but we try to do as much as possible at the initial appointment. You can return to Chear for a review at any time.
Do you provide hearing aids for children?
Yes, but we usually recommmend that hearing aids are supplied by the local audiology service.