Paediatric cochlear implant

Cochlear implants are a tertiary service, offered based on the results of the hearing test and a detailed assessment by a multidisciplinary team. Cochlear implants are required by most severe to profoundly deaf children and significantly improve sound perception.

Service delivery: This service is for children with permanent hearing loss who will benefit from a cochlear implant assessment. This service reviews the medical aspects of hearing loss, particularly in relation to having cochlear implants. To ensure high-quality person-centred care, the service is best delivered as a consultation to identify the medical issues followed by follow-up appointments if required. Additional access to the service is also indicated if new medical symptoms appear. This service aims at a holistic assessment of the child, not just an interpretation of test results. It is delivered by staff with a medical background.

Additional requirements: Local pathways with access to a range of professionals are essential, eg ophthalmologists, clinical geneticists, paediatricians, cardiologists and ENT specialists.

Workforce: Medical professionals with training in audiovestibular medicine and cochlear implants (eg audiovestibular physicians, paediatricians and ENT specialists) and a multidisciplinary team. New patients usually require allocated 45 minutes and follow-up appointments 20–30 minutes.

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