West of England Hearing Implant Programme
Cochlear implant user Tom and his sister Amy run through
Taunton with the Olympic Torch.
The West of
England Hearing Implant Programme was established in 1995
as the regional centre for the South West. We now implant
about 100 patients per year, with a fairly even mix between adults
and children. Implanted patients remain under the care of the
programme for life.
The programme provides comprehensive
care for all ages with close collaborative work between the adult,
paediatric and adolescent parts of our team. We have established a
dedicated Rehabilitation team which meets regularly to discuss the
individual needs of every patient and to appoint a key worker in
We have developed new methods of working to streamline the
patient experience and work closely with other ENT and Audiology
departments throughout the region. We arrange as much care as
possible close to the patient's home. We have developed outreach
clinics at Taunton, Exeter, Truro, Newton Abbott and
Barnstaple and continue to look for ways of improving the care
that we provide.
Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening
with early diagnosis and hearing aid fitting at a very young age
has led to earlier referral for consideration for Cochlear
Implantation. Bristol was a pilot site for Neonatal Screening so we
have been able to gain significant experience with very young
children. We aim to carry out Cochlear Implantation for
congenitally deaf children by the child's first birthday where
Our programme meets the Quality Standards set by the British
Cochlear Implant Group, Royal National Institute for the Deaf and
National Deaf Children's Society and our work is regularly audited
to monitor the outcomes of Cochlear Implantation.
We have a multi-disciplinary team of 25 people including
audiologists, audiological scientists, teachers of the deaf, speech
and language therapists, hearing therapists, adult and paediatric
psychologists, paediatrician, surgeons, specialist radiologist and
dedicated administrative staff. We have regular Multi-disciplinary
team meetings to develop co-operative working techniques, discuss
new developments in the field of Cochlear Implantation and to plan
the care of patients.
Should you experience a problem with your speech processor and
are unable to attend the Department to collect a replacement, we
operate a postal repair service. More information here.