Transition to the adult service

Audiology patients are seen within the paediatric service until the age of 18 years, at which point you may start university or begin employment (unless you have additional needs and you are remaining in education until 21 years).

Your final routine appointment will be a ‘transition’ appointment. The main differences between the paediatric and the adult services are:

  • As an adult, you no longer have routine appointments arranged.
  • If a hearing aid is lost as an adult, there is a fee to replace the aid (unless certain exemptions apply—please enquire if details needed).
  • If a hearing aid requires repair/ replacement, we offer a walk-in repair service (details on back of this leaflet), although booked repair appointments can be arranged if required at various sites.

You will no longer have access to the hearing support service team, although there are alternative services who are able to offer support.

What happens next?

You will be offered a ‘transition appointment’ at 18 years+ which will last 1.5 hours (you may be seen on your own for this if you wish).

You will have your hearing reassessed and your hearing aid(s) readjusted / updated if required. You will be provided with batteries/ consumables such as tubing which you will need to maintain your hearing aid, as well as information on how to do this.

You will be given a brown battery book which you will need in the future to collect free batteries. You will also be given a named contact within the department for future reference.

After the appointment, you will be posted a copy of your latest audiology report which will include your latest audiogram, which you may need for future reference. Starting in further education or employment When applying to college or university, make contact with the student support service (contact details are usually available on the university website) and the team will be able to guide you to the support available.

You may also be eligible for Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) - information on eligibility/ applications can be found using contact details on the back of this leaflet.

Eligibility should usually be confirmed by a medical professional such as your GP. When applying for employment, your local Jobcentre Plus will be able to put you in touch with a disability employment advisor, who can offer support and advice. You may be eligible for funding for equipment/ environmental aids through the Access to Work programme.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID)/ Action on Hearing Loss provides information on going to university/ careers help for hearing impaired people. Connexions Direct may be able to provide advice to young adults with hearing impairment, such as entitlements.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is also able to provide information and support, including welfare rights and benefit claims, making education choices, advising on health and technology or simply someone to talk to.

Other devices which may help

At your transition appointment, you will have been provided with information on products which may be helpful alongside your hearing aid, such as loop devices for listening to the TV.

As an adult, social care and health’s sensory loss team can advise on these assistive listening devices. Direct audio input (DAI) may be useful—this is available on most modern hearing aids and allows sound information to be fed directly to the hearing aid from an external device, such as an MP3 player. Y

ou may have already used this with an FM/radio aid at school, but it can also be used with any device which uses headphones. At present, you will need a small ‘shoe’ connected to the bottom of your hearing aid, with a lead which connects to the external device (not available on the NHS, so needs to be purchased privately or by your college/ university/ work).

The lead fits to any shoe via a universal fitting. Some hearing aids can attach to external devices wirelessly using a ‘streamer’ device via Bluetooth. Further information on all of the above can be found from a company called Connevans or through the hearing aid manufacturer directly.

Hearing aid maintenance

It is important to ensure the earmould tubes/ slim tubes are changed at least once every 4-6 months. Supplies of these (and batteries) can be collected Monday-Friday at Shelley Road, Boscombe, or alternatively these can be posted to you if you send in a stamped addressed envelope.

Many GP practices are also able to provide new batteries upon presenting your brown hearing aid record book (please enquire with audiology if you need further information on this).

Walk-in hearing aid repair clinics

Audiology

11 Shelley Road

Boscombe

Monday-Friday 9am-4.30pm

Boots, Dolphin Centre, Poole:

Monday and Tuesday 9am-12pm and 2-4pm

What if I feel I need a reassessment?

You are advised to come to the hearing aid repair clinic so that your hearing aids can be checked and so that the most appropriate appointment can be arranged. However, if you notice a rapid or sudden drop in hearing, you need to seek urgent advice.

During office hours (9am-5pm Monday-Friday), please contact the audiology department who will advise on the best course or action.

Out of hours, please seek urgent assistance through A&E’s on-call ENT service.

Points of contact

East Dorset Audiology— 0300 303 8640 dhc.audiologyenquiries@nhs.net

Access to Work

Disabled Student’s Allowance

RNID (Royal National Institute for the Deaf). 0808 808 0123/ 0808 808 9000 (textphone)

Jobcentre Plus

Connexions Direct

NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society)

Social Care and Health Sensory Loss Team—Contact details can be obtained via www.dorset.gov.uk (click on ‘disability’).

Audiology