Audiovestibular physicians work in primary, secondary and tertiary care and many are employed by acute trusts. The workforce consists of multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) within specialist and supra-specialist centres, comprising:
- audiovestibular physicians
- hearing therapists
- teachers of hearing impaired and deaf children
- speech and language therapists
- psychologists/cognitive behavioural therapists
- specialist nurses
- ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons.
Patients with straightforward needs will be treated in primary care by GPs or by community audiologists, physiotherapists, teachers of hearing impaired and deaf children and speech and language therapists. The development of specialist commissioning is required for specialist and supra-specialist services for adults and children with more complex conditions. The number of patients needing highly specialist support is relatively low but it is important that everyone has equal access to such services. Audiovestibular physicians take referrals from ENT surgeons, paediatricians, neurologists, audiologists, care of the elderly physicians, general and acute physicians, GPs and newborn hearing screeners.