BSHAA is providing advice and guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, both for practitioners and the public.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/…/coronavirus-covid-19-regulati…
Wales: https://gov.wales/coronavirus3rd Nov.<
SEPT 2020 Joint guidance from the UK’s audiology professional bodies
Published: 1 Sept 2020
AIHPP, BAA, BSA and BSHAA published an updated version of their joint guidance on 1st September
TUESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2020
The main updates in the latest version of the guidance are:
A move to walk-in appointments – provided they are triaged before entering the clinic
FAQs on paediatrics
New information on clear masks
The guidance will be reviewed again on 15 January 2021.
This updated guidance replaces the previous guidance that was published on 1 June 2020.
If you are unsure about changes you should make to operate within the new guidance, contact BSHAA at email@example.com 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.