New Covid-19 guidance for practitioners

May 10th 2022

Minimal changes made:

UPDATE (#8): 9th May, 2022

 

BSHAA is providing advice and guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, both for practitioners and the public.

UPDATE (#7): 1st October, 2021

The Joint Guidance for Audiology and Otology during the Covid 19 pandemic was scheduled for review on October 1st 2021. The guidance has been reviewed; there are no significant changes are added at this time. Please see the latest version here: Joint Audiology Otology Guidance Oct 21

Please note that a new section has been added under vaccinations:

Working in Nursing Homes

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have amended the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 so that, from 11 November 2021, all care home workers and other visiting professionals will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have an exemption or there is an emergency.

The professional bodies advise hearing care professionals working in any social care setting to ensure they discuss with the facility management the requirements for entry.

UPDATE (#6): 1st June, 2021

 

 

UPDATE (#5): 11th May 2021

 

In light of the continued vaccine program, reducing infection numbers and easing of government restrictions we would advise members to operate under guidance specified in stage 3 of the joint guidance (Appendix 9, page 32).

UPDATE (#4): 15th Jan. 2021

 

AIHHP, BAA, BSA and BSHAA continue to work together to ensure the Audiology and Otology Guidance during COVID-19 document is up to date. The January revision of the document is now available to download.

A few amendments have been made for January 2021 and we would encourage you to re-read the guidance to ensure you continue to practice safely. The vaccine roll out does not remove the need for the strict adherence to Infection Prevention Control, use of PPE and social distancing.

Considering the guidance revision and the more virulent strain of Covid-19, you should review the risk assessment of your service.

We continue to advise professionals work to Stage D of the Clinical Activity Guidance Table in Appendix 9. Please note the nomenclature of the table has been revised to remove confusion with government levels.

Andrew Coulter

 

UPDATE (#3): 5th Jan. 2021

Statement from BSHAA:

In light of greater restrictions announced throughout the United Kingdom we would advise professionals to once again review the joint guidance in line with Alert level 4 in appendix 9. All departments/businesses should be operating in line with this guidance. Local NHS/Business decisions on maintaining services may also be in place. Level 4 of the Joint Guidance advises remote care where possible, face to face care for those with any hearing need and triaging required for all those coming to clinic. Audiology continues to be an essential service and following the joint guidance ensures you are practicing in a Covid secure environment. The Joint Audiology Guidance is due for full review on 15th January 2021.

 
UPDATE (#2): 21st Nov. 2020

Joint guidance from the UK’s audiology professional bodies

With the emergence of the new variant of Covid we would advise professionals to review the joint guidance in line with Alert level 4 in appendix 9.  All departments/businesses should be operating in line with this guidance.  This advises remote care where possible, face to face care for those with a hearing need and triaging required for all those coming to clinic.

 
UPDATE (#1): 3rd Nov. 2020

Joint guidance from the UK’s audiology professional bodies

As we see greater and varied restrictions throughout all parts of the UK it is important to review the joint guidance produced in September. Your risk assessment should be based on the local restrictions in your area and level 4 in appendix 9 considered if your area is under greater restrictions.

Audiology was classed as essential retail in the March legislation and allowed to remain open, we do not believe this classification has/will change.

In all areas of the U.K. under local lockdown or Tier 3 restrictions, we advise a digital-first approach for your existing patients to limit their travel for items such as domes, receivers, tubes and batteries that could be delivered to home. You do not have to close your practices/clinics but we would suggest you provide a letter, email or text confirmation of an appointment with you in case the patient’s travel need is questioned.

Audiology appointments remain essential medical visits and should be carried out in line with the existing protocols from the Joint Guidance dated 1st September 2020 (see below).

The latest government guidance is available at:

England: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/…/coronavirus-covid-19-regulati…

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Wales: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Please send any questions to guidance@bshaa.org 

Additional support and advice

If you are unsure about changes you should make to operate within the new guidance, contact BSHAA at guidance@bshaa.org for additional support and confidential advice about how to remain consistent with the guidance.

Should cases come to light where the guidance is not being followed correctly, BSHAA will engage with those concerned to encourage and support compliance, and will take appropriate action as necessary, but will not comment publicly on individual cases.

Downloadable Letters

Permission to travel

Access to schools