Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme
The Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme is a nationally recognised centre for auditory implantation.
The programme provides cochlear implants and other hearing implants to hearing-impaired children and adults of all ages who do not receive adequate benefit from hearing aids.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Attending an outpatients appointment at Ropewalk House
Under the new guidance that came into effect in June 2022, face masks will only be compulsory in clinical areas. This includes all outpatient areas, clinics and waiting rooms in Ropewalk House. Hospital face masks are now optional in non-clinical areas, including corridors, retail outlets, restaurants and staff offices.
If you think you have symptoms, please do not attend your hospital appointment until you are advised it is safe to do so. Please contact us to rearrange your appointment, or to re-organise treatment and tests.
For more information: Coronavirus | NUH or Appointments | NUH
- We continue to welcome new referrals for hearing implants from GP, ENT, Audiology and relevant professionals. Click here for referral advice.
- We have restarted routine surgery and are carrying out face to face-to-face appointments. We also continue to provide support to patients by video, telephone and other non-facing means where possible.
- Our spares and repairs service continues to operate. If you call us or email us about spares or repairs, please leave a brief message and your contact details. Someone will call you back as soon as possible.
If you call us or email us about a medical emergency out of office hours, please contact Ward C25 for adults on 0115 924 99 24, EXT 89025 or for Children, please contact Ward D34 on 0115 924 99 24 EXT 89034 . Otherwise leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as possible.
General enquiries and appointments
(8:00am - 4:30pm)
Tel: 0115 948 5549 or 0115 948 5565
Text: 0797 619 0003
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Nuhnt.email@example.com (secure email address)
Emergency out of office hours
In case of an emergency during out of office hours, you can talk to a staff nurse at the Ear, Nose and Throat department any time of the day or night.
Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 89025
Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 89034
Helpdesk (Spares & Repairs)
Tel: 0115 948 5538
Text: 0797 619 0028
Cochlear Care (Cochlear users only):
Tel: 0193 226 3630
Text: 0790 358 3780
To change or cancel your appointment
Phone the number on your appointment letter (Tel: 0115 948 5549) between 8.00 - 4.30pm. Please have your appointment letter to hand as you may be asked for your hospital number.
Please give us as much notice as possible so that the appointment can be made available to others.
If you need any additional help or advice please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) you can find more information about this service by click here.
How to find us (click on the link below):
British Sign Language Interpreting Service
When you receive your appointment please let us know if you wish us to book an interpreter for you, or you can contact the interpreting service direct on: 0115 978 6984. Please visit: www.disabledgo.com for further details.
Alternatively you can text us on: 07976 190003
Remote hearing checks
For some of our cochlear implant patients to we are able to carry out a 'virtual' hearing check' at home.
Please click on the link below for more information:
'Virtual' hearing checks for cochlear implant users
Please note that the remote hearing check will not be suatable for everyone as you must have the necessary technology at home and be able to complete certain audiological tests, without the support of an audiologist.
Members of the Nottingham Auditory Implant team are based across QMC, City Hospital and Ropewalk House.
Acting Head of Service
Professor Gerry M O'Donoghue, Miss Priya Achar, Professor Doug Hartley, Mr Sam Cho
Vyas Deepal, Jane Hatton, Claire Hill, Ellen Jeffs, Susan Johnson, Tracy O'Neil, Kim Veekmans
Rosie Hobbs, Vicki Goodwin
Speech and Language Therapists
Gabriella Bizeul, Anne-Marie Marley, Angela Maxwell, Amanda Odell, Jayne Ramirez-Inscoe
Teachers of the Deaf
Helen Clements, Shelley Doubleday, James Rickards, Chris Rogers, Ash Warchol, Kelly Winter
Broken or lost equipment
If your equipment is not working properly try to identify the problem and solve it yourself if you can. Click on the images below to find troubleshooting information on your equipment manufacturer’s website by clicking on the image or link below:
Advanced Bionics - http://advancedbionics.com/uk/en/home/support/troubleshooting-guide.html
Cochlear - http://www.cochlear.com/uk/home/support/cochlear-implant-systems
Medel - https://www.medel.com/en-gb/support
If the problem persists, please contact:
Cochlear Care (for users of Cochlear sound processors)
Tel: 0193 226 3630
NAIP Equipment Helpdesk
Tel: 0115 948 5538
NAIP has a 'Return before Replace' system for our patients using Advanced Bionics and Med-El equipment (excluding Harmony and Opus 2 users). If your headpiece, cable or battery is faulty you will need to return it to NAIP before receiving a replacement. In the meantime you can use your spare which has previously been provided. For more information please contact our Equipmemt Helpdesk Tel: 0115 948 5538.
If replacement sound processors are required they are sent out by registered post and should be received the following day (if requested before 2:30pm). A sound processor is an expensive item of equipment (over £5,000). Therefore, it is very important that broken or faulty speech processors are returned without delay in the special delivery envelope provided.
Keeping sound processors safe
As cochlear implant equipment is very expensive it is important that the sound processor is held in place securely whilst being worn to help prevent loss or damage. The following leaflet explains our policy with regard to retention methods and some of the ways that can help to keep your child’s processors in place:
What if my equipment is lost or damaged beyond repair?
Nottingham University Hospitals has a policy which includes delay of ugrade date which may be applied if equipment is lost or damaged beyond repair. If your equipment is lost or damaged please contact Cochlear Care (if registered) and the NAIP Helpdesk as soon as possible. The following document gives more information about what you need to do:
News & Events
BEARS Launch Event
Are you likely to be near London on the 18th Feb? If so, you can go and find out about a new, virtual reality, training resource for bilaterial cochlear implant users at this family fun day. Limited tickets are available for families with a cochlear implant from H.Cullington@southampton.ac.uk and there is more information on Twitter @BEARS_CI
Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group
An opportunity to get involved!
The British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) are looking for patients and parents/carers to be involved in PPIE groups to give your ideas and thoughts on various aspect of data collection, research, quality, and service delivery to help shape the future for children, teenagers, and adults with cochlear implants. A current project requiring your input is the development of a National Registry of Hearing Implants (NRHI).
Being part of a PPIE group gives you the chance to tell clinicians and researchers about your personal experiences and give your views. Groups may be face-to-face, but will also be online with subtitles and BSL interpreters available if needed. You may also be asked to comment on documents by email.
BCIG welcome all willing participants, and hope to have a wide and diverse range of representation from all backgrounds and ages including parents/carers, teenagers and adults from each cochlear implant team across the UK.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Laura in the BCIG office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeping processor on - George's hat helped!
In our latest video, George's mum, Emma, explains how challenging it was to keep George's sound processors on all his waking hours, until she tried using a pilot cap/hat. It really helped! Click here to watch.
You can also read our information sheet about using pilot caps/bonnets to keep hearing aids and cochlear implant processors in place. Click here to download it.
Our Annual Rehabilitation training conference for teachers of the deaf and specialist speech and language therapists 2022
“It was so great to be back!” -
After two years of no large face-to-face gatherings due to the Covid Pandemic, we finally ran our annual rehab training conference at the Nottingham Conference Centre on June 29th 2022. Demand was high this year, and for the first time we had to create a waiting list. Some education authorities booked for their whole teams to attend, confident that the conference would provide relevant and excellent new knowledge together with necessary updates. Expectations were also high, as previous conferences have delivered expert presentations and workshops.
Our clinical team has always worked closely with local professionals and we had some amazing talks planned with them in mind. People were not disappointed:
- Amy Stephens gave a high impact talk about Sensory Integration difficulties
- Charles Tyack reminded us all why sleep is so important and backed it up with evidence and facts
- Listening effort and subsequent fatigue is real, and it is possible to be ‘tired of listening’
- Having difficult conversations not only with patients and families but also with colleagues
- A parent and then a child described their cochlear implant experience following the change to NICE criteria in 2019 – you could hear a pin drop in the room
- Our cochlear implant manufacturer colleagues gave us valuable updates and hands-on opportunities with the latest technology and resources
- Finally ,members of our team provided a whistle-stop tour of ‘What’s new at NAIP’
Thank you to all our fantastic speakers and as always to our colleagues from cochlear implant companies. Your presentations and support workshops were of the highest quality and very accessible to the audience!
Delegates rated the conference excellent or good for overall content and relevance to their current position. There were lots of very positive comments:
"Probably your best conference ever! So good to network and see people from other areas in person. We all look forward to this conference. Highlight of our professional year for both training and opportunity to network"
Delegates also gave us some great suggestions about what they would like at future conferences.
Planning for next year’s conference will begin soon. Watch this space!
National advice on nasal flu vaccine for children with cochlear implants
A recent post on the on BCIG (British Cochlear Implant Group) website refers to information from the National Immunisation team – the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency).:
"Children with cochlear implants can be vaccinated safely with LAIV [live attenuated influenza vaccine. This is the nasal (nose spray)]. although ideally not in the week prior to implant surgery or for two weeks afterwards, or if there is evidence of on-going cerebrospinal fluid leak. This will be added to Influenza Green book chapter. Publishing of this is expected to be very soon."
This story shows how our team successfully implanted a child with complex needs during the COVID pandemic by working closely and mostly virtually with his parents and his team of clinical specialists.
His parents shared a video of him a few days after initial programming.
Brodie was born with a rare syndrome which means that he has a range of needs, including significant hearing loss, visual impairment, physical disability and epilepsy. He was fitted with hearing aids at the age of 3 months, but it was difficult to achieve consistent use, due to a range of factors including middle ear congestion, ear infections, sleeping excessively due to his epilepsy and repeatedly pulling out his own aids. An objective test of hearing when he was 16 months old suggested his hearing levels did not meet the criteria for consideration of a cochlear implant at the time, and parents were advised to continue with the hearing aids to see if he could make sense of the sound. However, in 2019, the criteria were ‘relaxed’ to allow people with some hearing to be considered as cochlear implant candidates. It was agreed that Brodie would benefit from more access to sound, and his parents wanted him to have the opportunity to hear what was happening around him, given he might not be able to get that information visually.
When Brodie was about to be offered a date for the operation, he was hospitalised with a severe respiratory infection, and whilst recovering from this, the COVID pandemic struck. Working closely with his parents and with clinical specialists, and, using the adapted PPE in our ENT theatre, developed by surgeons and theatre staff, we were able to minimise risks to ensure Brodie’s safety and the cochlear implant operation was a success.
We delivered Brodie’s equipment direct to his home, and through video appointments, supported his parents on how to assemble the processor and try it with Brodie before attending a face to face audiology appointment to ‘switch it on’.
Click here to see the video of Brodie a few days after initial programming.
NAIP Conference 2019
This conference took place in June and brought together more than 80 teachers of the deaf, speech and language therapists and other professionals who work with deaf children. It achieved its aim of providing essential and timely information about new NICE criteria for consideration of cochlear implantation. It also provided updates both from NAIP and the manufacturers about new developments and what local professionals can do to support deaf children using cochlear implants. All this happened in a great venue with fantastic food and facilities.
As the word cloud shows, feedback was very positive with overall course content rated excellent or good by 93% of delegates (69 people completed their evaluation form). Here are some of the comments:
We have taken note of suggestions for improving the conference which included a request for more interactive workshops and for the agenda to be sent out earlier. As always, everyone who attended appreciated the opportunity to network, and to discuss current issues with members of their own team and others.
More severe and profoundly deaf people will benefit from cochlear implants because of new NICE guidance
We are delighted with the news that the criteria for cochlear implantation has been relaxed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Because of their updated guidance which you can see here, hundreds more people who have been struggling to get enough benefit from hearing aids will be able to receive a cochlear implant.
Staff from our programme worked with researchers and clinicians around the UK to provide the evidence that NICE needed in order to make this change. Tracey Twomey, NAIP Head of Service and Chair of the British Cochlear Implant Group says: “This is a fabulous development and so good for our patients. For too long we have had to turn people away who may have benefited from an implant because they didn’t fit the previous NICE criteria.”
The revisions to the guidance are as follows:
For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing only sounds that are louder than 80 dB HL (pure-tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80 dB HL) at 2 or more frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz and 4,000 Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids. Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:
for adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the Arthur Boothroyd word test presented at 70 dBA
for children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.
There is NHS help available for all degrees of hearing loss, which can be devastating, leaving people feeling isolated and unable to talk with friends, family and work colleagues. Our advice is don’t delay, see your GP or audiologist to discuss and explore what options might best suit you. Ask for a referral to a cochlear implant programme for assessment if you feel this might be for you.