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The funds raised at a Pied Piper corporate event earlier this year has allowed the charity to purchase a much needed hearing diagnostic machine for Gloucestershire Royal in the children’s audiology centre. The equipment cost £22,000.

According to research 1/1000 newborn babies are likely to be born with hearing loss in one or both ears. We have a population of 5000 – 7000 babies born per year. In the last three years 40 deaf babies were identified within 4-8 weeks of birth giving them the earliest possible diagnosis and treatment.

This is a brand new, modern electrophysiological testing machine used to formally diagnose babies and young children with hearing loss following their newborn hearing ‘fail’ screening. It replaces an old, out of date piece of kit that can no longer function or be serviced. This equipment will be used on a daily basis to carry out diagnostic assessments on babies and young children to assess their hearing reliably and deliver a better quality of life by early diagnosis and intervention and prevent children having to travel to Bristol for the advanced screening. 

Shakil Olivia Sumithra, clinical lead in paediatric audiology, said: ”This equipment is already making an immeasurable and significant difference to babies and young children within Gloucestershire allowing the audiology team to accurately and reliably assess children’s hearing within the required timeframe, where treatment can be given to provide a better quality of life by early diagnosis and intervention.” 

A comfortable chair was also donated by the Pied Piper to help parents nurse the babies and children to sleep so that the detailed tests can be performed. Interestingly the diagnostic hearing service was set up many years ago by Dr. Marie Owen who is a long-standing charity Trustee.