Learning Disabilities

Within the Hearing Centre, we have a dedicated team who specialises in assessing, fitting and supporting Adults with a Learning Disability.

We are also skilled in providing services for individuals who require specialist support due to their mental health. GPs are kept in the loop throughout the whole process and will be informed if an onward referral to Ear Nose and Throat is required.

Prominence of hearing loss within this population

"Almost 40% of adults with a learning disability will have a hearing loss yet for many people the loss will not be diagnosed because their audiology services are not accessible to them. For many, the loss will be identified but the support they receive will not be adequate for them to benefit from a hearing aid. The consequences can be a double disadvantage, their learning disability precludes them from receiving adequate support for their hearing problem and the failure to address their hearing loss will in turn exacerbate the effects of their learning disability."

- http://www.hald.org.uk/ Accessed 05/09/2012

How can the learning disability team help?

  • We have a dedicated and skilled team to assess and provide support to individuals with complex and specific needs
  • We are able to offer a service within the community and within people's homes
  • We are able to provide a range of both subjective and objective testing
  • We are experienced in adapting our techniques to meet people's needs
  • Our techniques aim to establish frequency specific information to help highlight a hearing loss more accurately

We aim to:

  • provide a holistic, quality service to meet an individual's needs in order to make the most of their hearing
  • facilitate better access to appropriate services through promoting better health and quality of life for the individual
  • provide additional support to the individual, beyond that of a hearing aid, to include follow ups, assistive listening devices, tinnitus support, balance rehabilitation and hearing therapy support where appropriate
  • provide residential homes/carers/family with training and information to help support the individual with a learning disability

How you can refer in to us

To refer into the service, please download the referral form or write a letter of referral and send it to:

Kara Kerr
Senior Hearing Therapist
Lead for Learning Disability Service
Hearing Centre
Heartlands Hospital
Bordesley Green East
BirminghamB9 5SS

Tel: 0121 424 3154

Once we receive a referral for a new patient, we will write to the patient's GP (unless referral came from GP), requesting consent to see the patient. At the Hearing Centre, our remit for our generic patients covers North and East Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield. However for our patients with learning disabilities, we will accept referrals from anywhere, as we appreciate that not all areas have a similar service to ours, and as long as we have the GP's consent, we are happy to provide a service.

If you would like a poster for the waiting area in your practice regarding this service, please phone/email the above contact.

Download the 'Learning Disability Flyer'

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