Basket
Join

Covid-19 guidance for practitioners (21 Dec 2020)

9 April Guidance

Audiology and otology
services during Covid-19

Joint guidance from the UK's audiology professional bodies
untitled

 

Statement 15th January

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

 

Re: Vaccination for key workers (Jan. 31st, 2020)

Under the guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), front line healthcare staff are included in priority group 2 and are eligible to receive their Covid vaccination at this time.

Hearing Aid Dispensers and their front-line support staff are included in this group whether they deliver NHS services or practise independently.  The registration of eligible staff is being organised on a local basis and varies considerably across the UK.  In England, responsibility rests with your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Scotland, Wales each have their own arrangements.

Some local organisers are being proactive and approaching BSHAA seeking contact details for those community-based audiologists providing care in their area.  In these cases, we are putting members in touch with the local organisers by emailing those members where we have a record of them being based in the relevant post code catchment areas.

We are providing members with a template letter, which they can use to approach their local CCG advising that they meet the criteria as front-line healthcare workers. 

Privacy legislation prevents us from putting local organisers directly in touch with our members to expedite the contacting process.  We are currently looking into whether we can provide the local organisers with the information you registered in the Find an Audiologist service on the basis that this is information you have asked us to share publicly as a guide to your practice.  Please let us know by return if you do not wish us to share this information with local organisers, even on a confidential basis.

MORE INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS ON VACCINATIONS

 

Letters for school access and travelling (as key workers) for members. 

 

Statement published 5th January 2021

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.

Andrew Coulter

Letters for school access and traveling (as key workers) for members. 

 

Statement published 21st December 2020

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.

Andrew Coulter

 

Statement published 3rd November 2020

Statement from UK Audiology Professional Bodies as we go into Lockdown #2 in England.

As we see greater and varied restrictions throughout all parts of the UK, we have reviewed the joint guidance released in September.

It means that 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 lockdown, firebreak, or tiered 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 or 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.

 

The latest government guidance is available here:

 

England

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

 

The joint Audiology and Otology Guidance is available here  

 

General guidance documents for managing staff and potential Covid exposures

General Guidance on social contact

 

Guidance for healthcare workers:

Overview resource England

Symptomatic worker

Detail resource England

 

Asymptomatic worker

 

 

Guidance published 20 October 2020

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

 

 

Previous Guidance published 1 September 2020


DOWNLOAD THE 1 SEPTEMBER GUIDANCE   as a pdf
UPDATE: 22 September 2020: The UK Government raised the Coronavirus alert level from 3 to 4 on 21 September. Practitioners should review Appendix 9 in the joint guidance 

1 Sept guidance cover

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.
DOWNLOAD THE 1 SEPTEMBER GUIDANCE   as a pdf
If you have questions or queries about the guidance, please mail them to coronavirus@bshaa.com

 

Website FAQs

READ THE FAQS           DOWNLOAD THE FAQ DOCUMENT   as a pdf

 

Additional support and advice

If you are unsure about changes you should make to operate within the new guidance, contact BSHAA at covid19help@bshaa.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.

 

BSHAA statement on remote hearing care

READ HERE (15 May 2020)

 

PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF THE JOINT GUIDANCE
9 April 2020
1 May 2020
1 June 2020
30 June 2020