Hearing services review launched after ‘horrific’ health board mistakes

A study has been launched by the Scottish Government into child and adult audiology services across the country.

The review, which will be chaired independently, comes after mistakes by NHS Lothian in its pediatric audiology department were branded ‘horrific’ by a charity.

An audit of health board services found significant failures in 155 of 1,113 patients treated between 2009 and 2018, leading to children being identified as deaf years later than they should have been.

The Scottish Government said further assessment of audiology services has ‘highlighted areas of improvement’ which need to be addressed.

I want to make sure our hearing services are fit for purpose across Scotland, which means making sure any wider issues are identified and rectified

Humza Yousaf

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Following the unacceptable failures that have been highlighted in pediatric audiology in NHS Lothian, I want to ensure our hearing services are fit for use across the country. Scotland and that means ensuring that any wider issues are identified and corrected.

“The first step is to appoint an independent chair, a process that will be undertaken as soon as possible to provide the necessary leadership and oversight for this important work.

“I will provide a further update detailing the terms of reference for the review, its composition and the reporting schedule once an appointment has been made.”

Michael A. May