Children's hearing matters - opportunities in audio-vestibular paediatrics. Get involved with BAPA

Dr Rakesh Tailor tells us about his involvement with The British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology (BAPA), a special interest group at the College representing all paediatricians with an interest in children’s hearing. They're currently recruiting for two enthusiastic trainees to help promote their work in making a positive difference to children with hearing impairment and their families lives.
Dr Rakesh Tailor
Dr Rakesh Tailor 

It is not the actual sound itself that matters, but the reverberations that it makes as it travels through our mind.
Virginia Woolf, 1926, TLS. 

Last year I was the trainee representative for The British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology (BAPA), who are dedicated to the development of the management of hearing loss in children. BAPA represents all paediatricians who share an interest in children’s hearing and has an additional role as a special interest group of the College. With the College, we help with workforce planning, specialist training and development of standards for this special interest.

My journey in the field of audio-vestibular (AV) paediatrics started at a regional community paediatrics study day. There I listened to a talk given by Dr Tracey Davis, paediatrician with special interest in AV paediatrics and BAPA executive member. I realised from this chance encounter that I knew very little about hearing problems in children. 

As part of my sub specialty training, I did have the opportunity to sit in on audiology assessments. This is where I began to see what role the paediatrician and the audiological scientists played in helping to prevent, diagnose, and treat hearing disorders. Speaking to the families who attended clinic, I also caught a glimpse of the impact of hearing disorders in children and their families on their health, and education.

Working in AV paediatrics – I thought – would give me a chance to make a positive, and on occasions, life-changing contribution to a child with hearing impairment and their families lives.

AV paediatrics is a special interest which combines knowledge of physiology, neurology, genetics, and technology as well as an opportunity to work in a team with teachers, speech therapists and social workers (amongst others) in a truly patient-centred and family focused way.

Now that I’ve completed my training in Community Child Health, it is time to look for some new trainee representatives!

We would love to appoint two enthusiastic trainees who have an interest in AV paediatrics, who would help to promote the organisation and speciality to their fellow trainees. It’s a great opportunity for you to get involved with helping to run a national, charity organisation that influences the way AV paediatrics is practiced in the United Kingdom. Every year we run a national conference – which I have chaired for the past two years – and is well-attended by clinicians from all four nations. So please do get in touch if you are interested.

Finally, we also have exciting news to share that the College's special interest (SPIN) module in AV paediatrics development has just been approved and the training will include the breadth of AV conditions of childhood. The SPIN will be open to applications from this autumn. The key elements of the SPIN are summarised in the box below. 

Stay safe everyone and continue to look out for each other. 


SPIN – Paediatric Audio Vestibular Medicine:

Key elements: 

Increased knowledge & understanding of

  • the science of the inner ear,
  • the tests of hearing and balance.
  • the effect of hearing impairment & vestibular disorder on the child’s development
  • the AV medical conditions of childhood, interplay with AV tests of function and management.
  • different methods of rehabilitation.

The skills to

  • promote deaf awareness and advocacy for children and young people with hearing impairment and their families
  • collaborate with multiple partners in the field.

AV paediatrics SPIN training will be:

  • open to all paediatric trainees, including subspecialty trainees in community child health, neurodisability and neurology
  • available in the future to SAS doctors with relevant competencies including MRCPCH.
  • available pre (12 months fulltime equivalent training) and post CCT (can be completed in up to 5 years).
  • will promote the expertise of colleagues in Audiovestibular Medicine (AVM).
  • a trainer will be either a paediatrician with a special interest in audio-vestibular paediatrics or a consultant in AVM.
  • training sites accredited in either Audiovestibular Medicine or sub-specialty training in Community Child Health.
  • limited to a handful of training sites and training places, initially.

Email BAPA to get involved