Referral guidance

Referrals must be made using our audiology referral form and are accepted in the post or by email. If you have any concerns about a referral do please contact us directly. Before making a referral, please:

  • Check ears for occluding wax (refer to ENT for removal with funding agreed)
  • Ensure ear infections are documented and appropriately treated (refer to ENT if >6 infections per year)
  • Ensure no sudden hearing loss (see guidance for urgent cases in referral criteria below)


Who can refer?

  • GP
  • Health Visitor, School Nurse
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Paediatrician (community or hospital based)
  • Other health or education professional

A parent/guardian wishing to discuss a referral to our service, can get in touch with us directly


Referral criteria

  • Sudden hearing loss (over a period of 72 hours or less) in one or both ears in child younger than 5 years. Refer within 24 hours of onset
  • Parental concern about persistent reduction in hearing (ongoing for atleast 1 month) in one or both ears
  • Nursery/ pre-school/school concerns about hearing
  • Known hearing loss or history of medical condition associated with hearing loss
  • Significant and sustained speech and language delay
  • Concerns with listening: easily distracted by other auditory or visual cues, difficulty listening in background noise, slow or delayed responses when spoken to, misunderstanding or mishearing what is said, frequently requesting repetition

When not to refer:

  • Recurrent ear infections- instead refer to ENT
  • Sudden hearing loss if the child is 5 years or older (refer to ENT)
  • Occluding wax- instead follow local guidelines or refer to ENT
  • Mild or recent speech concerns with no other symptoms- instead refer to Health Visitor or Speech & Language Therapy
  • Speech delay in a child under 18 months of age- instead advise family to contact Speech Language & Therapy for advice


Once a referral has been made

Submitted referrals are passed for triage by a clinician (usually within 3 days) and then booked into the next available suitable clinic. Parent/carer is then called to confirm appointment location, date and time. An appointment letter is sent out in the post. No actions by referrer needed.