In December 2021, an audit report by the British Academy of Audiology showed significant failures in NHS Lothian’s Paediatric Audiology Service.  

The failures in the NHS Lothian Audiology Service have had consequences for children and their families, and, in some cases, diagnoses of hearing loss or impairment have been missed or delayed.  

The errors meant the average age of a child being diagnosed with hearing loss by the NHS Lothian Audiology Service was four-and-a-half years, far above the 109 days old average in England. For some children, the delay in diagnosis means they may now have poorer outcomes, developmental delays, and treatment options. Out of the sample of 1,007 patient records that were audited, severe concerns were identified in 155, with moderate and minor concerns identified in many other cases.  

We also know that there are children who fall outside the audit sample who have been affected by the failings identified at NHS Lothian, and the number impacted may be significantly larger than those referenced in the audit report.  

The audit report was thorough and transparent, and it clearly highlighted very serious concerns regarding NHS Lothian’s Paediatric Audiology Service.  However, the audit involved just a sample of patients.   

Through our investigations so far, it is clear that many more patients and families have been impacted and might not even be aware of it.    

The consequences for those children impacted and their families needs to be recognised, and awareness of the issues needs to be raised to reach those who may be suffering the consequences without knowing why.  

We are working with the families that have been impacted to try to bring a swift and just resolution that provides fair redress and support for those affected.  

To find out more, visit

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