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Operating as part of the Integrated Children’s Additional Needs (ICAN) Service we identify children, aged 0-18 years who attend a Leeds school or GP, with a hearing impairment early in life so that the condition can be managed as well as possible. We work with the child and family to consider all health and wellbeing issues and then refer to other health services as required. 

It is important that a hearing loss is identified as soon as possible. A hearing loss can sometimes cause children to have difficulties with communication and/or socialising. This information tells you about some of the tactics that could help reduce the impact a hearing loss may be having on a child, helping them to feel more understood and less frustrated.

  • Before speaking, firstly get your child’s attention by calling their name or by touch. Speak clearly, but don’t shout. If repetition is needed, try using different words.
  • Avoid giving instructions or having important discussions in a noisy surrounding. Turning down any music or the television when you are talking to your child may help.
  • Try talking face to face, sitting or bending to your child’s face level. It can be helpful to have light on your face and avoid standing in front of a window which can make lip reading difficult.
  • When talking with your child, check that they are listening and watching. Check as you go along that they have understood. It is important to be aware, that when tired, listening can be harder work for your child.
  • Don’t forget to inform relatives and friends who have contact with your child of the hearing difficulties your child may be experiencing. When informing your child’s teacher, ask if they can move your child to the front of the class. The teacher will also be able to let you know if your child needs any extra help at home or school.

Community Audiology is a team of professionals who specialise in testing children’s hearing. This information tells you about some of the hearing tests we use. We hope this will help you talk to your child about what will happen when they come to clinic.

The Distraction Test

  • If your baby can sit unsupported, distraction testing can be used.
  • Your baby will sit on your knee with you holding them around the waist.
  • One tester will keep your baby’s attention by playing with some toys.
  • The other tester will make a range of different sounds from behind your baby.
  • We want to see if your baby will turn to look when they hear the sound.
  • The sounds will be low, middle and high pitched.
  • The sounds will start off quiet and get louder.
  • We want to find the quietest sound at each pitch that your baby will turn for.
  • It is very important that you don’t give any clues when the sound is there.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

  • Visual Reinforcement Audiometry can be used to test babies who can sit unsupported, and toddlers.
  • Your child will sit on your knee with you holding them around the waist.
  • On each side of the room are two speakers, with cabinets with toys that light up inside.
  • One tester will keep your child’s attention by allowing them to play with some toys on the table.
  • The other tester will work the test equipment.
  • Your child will be shown that when a sound comes, a toy lights up.
  • This will encourage your child to turn around each time they hear the sound.
  • We want to find the quietest sound at each pitch that your child will turn for.
  • It is very important that you don’t give any clues when the sound is there.

Performance Test

  • Older toddlers and pre school children may be able to do a performance test.
  • One tester will stand behind your child with an electronic “Warbler” which makes sounds of known pitch and volume.
  • The other tester will show your child the “game”: when they hear the sound they put a man in the boat.
  • When your child plays the game they will be tested with low, medium and high pitched sounds. The sounds will start off loud and get quieter.
  • The gaps between the sounds are changed to make sure they are not guessing.
  • We want to find the quietest sound that your child can hear at each pitch.

Pure Tone Audiometry

  • Pure Tone Audiometry is used with older pre-school children and school age children.
  • The child listens for different tones through headphones.
  • Each time they hear a tone they put a peg in a pegboard: older children and teenagers are given a button to press.
  • The tones start off loud and get quieter until they are no longer heard.
  • Pure Tone Audiometry tells us the quietest sound that can be heard in each ear, at each pitch tested.

The Toy Test

  • The toy test is used with older toddlers and pre-school children.
  • The tester puts some toys out on the table in front of your child.
  • The toys are in pairs and are chosen because they sound similar e.g. key and tree.
  • Your child will be asked to point to a toy.
  • The tester will make sure your child can’t lip-read.
  • The tester’s voice level is measured.
  • This test is used to see how well your child can hear speech.

ICAN Community Audiology Service Referral Criteria

Name of Clinic or Clinical Pathway

Children’s Community Audiology Services

Narrative description of the clinic or clinical pathway 

The service identifies children, aged 0-18 years, who attend a Leeds school or GP, with a hearing impairment early in life so that the condition can be best managed.

Who can refer?

Referrals accepted from any healthcare professionals include:

  • GPs

  • Paediatricians

  • School nurses

  • Health visitors

  • Speech and language therapists

  • Community nursery nurse

  • School hearing screening programme

  • Newborn hearing screening programme

Who can’t refer?

  • Parents/families/children

  • Non healthcare professionals

What intervention is expected by the referrer before a referral is made?

  • Parent/carer consent for referral

  • No other specific prior intervention is required

Referral Criteria:

  • Parental or professional hearing concerns

  • Rule out hearing difficulties (for example speech and language delay)

  • Monitoring of hearing due to other health issues (for example Downs Syndrome)

  • Continuity of hearing monitoring from a previous provider due to relocation


Exclusions (including referral route)

  • Aged 0-18 years of age

  • Attend a Leeds school or

  • Attends a Leeds GP

  • Hearing aid users with care currently being provided by a UK audiology service (should be referred to the audiology service currently providing that care)

  • Requests solely to treat ear infections. These should be referred to either the patient’s own GP or to Ear, Nose and Throat Services, LGI

  • Referrals where the reason for referral has not been completed or stated by the referrer (in either the free text box or tick box)

  • Referrals for children 12 weeks of age or less, should be passed to Audiology Team Leader or Service Manager for triage

Coronavirus Update

We are pleased to let you know that Leeds Community Healthcare, Children’s Audiology service has now reopened. 

Like most NHS organisations, our Trust is committed to finding new solutions to support the health needs of the people of Leeds, including working with patient representatives, finding the best use of resources and developing closer partnership working.

As the service re-opens, we may only be able to see children at one or two health centres to start with. This is because we are working with other services to make sure our health centres are COVID secure. 

Please be reassured that we will be working through our waiting list, seeing children in the order that referrals were received.

We will contact all parents/carers by telephone and/or letter to let them know when an appointment is available. Appointment times will be longer than usual and staff will also be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience and support.  If you have any questions, please call on 0113 843 3620.

You may find the following web pages useful:

What to expect from your appointment during the Coronavirus Outbreak

What to expect

Please read the below information before attending your child’s hearing test. . Please visit for further advice and information.

Before you visit us:

  • Only one adult should attend the appointment with your child
  • Please do not bring other children. If childcare is a problem, please speak to our booking team BEFORE your child’s appointment so that we can talk to you about help that may be available

 The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

If anyone in your household or ‘bubble’ has any of the symptoms noted above you must stay at home. Please also contact our booking team on 0113 843 3620 so that we can rearrange your child’s appointment.

Arrival at the health centre:

  • We ask everyone coming to clinic to wear a face covering. Please bring one for yourself and your child if they are aged 11-years or older. Please put your face coverings on before you come in to the health centre
  • If possible, do not come in to the health centre until five minutes before your appointment time. If you arrive early by car, please wait in your car until it is time to come in
  • When you come into the health centre please use the hand sanitiser provided and, where possible, maintain two metre social distancing between staff and other families during your visit
  • Please let us know you have arrived – our reception desk is on the ground floor as you come in
  • Our reception staff will check if you, your child, or anyone in your household or ‘bubble’ have any symptoms of coronavirus
  • You will be shown to our waiting area
  • Toilet facilities are available for you and your child to use, but please remember to wash your hands and reapply hand sanitiser before returning to the waiting room

During the appointment:

One of our Audiology team will collect you from the waiting room and take you to the audiology room for your appointment.  All staff will be wearing a surgical mask, apron, gloves and either goggles or a visor.  This is for patient and staff protection. 

  • At the end of the appointment we will ask you to use hand sanitiser again before leaving the building.

Tel: 0113 843 3620 

9:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Friday 

Our service operates out of the following health centres:

Armley Moor Health Centre
95 Town Street 
LS12 3HD

Chapeltown Health Centre
Spencer Place 

St George's Centre
St George's Road
LS10 4UZ

If you have a complaint, concern, comment or compliment please let us know by visiting the Patient Experience and Engagement page


Referral form 

What to do if you need to speak to someone urgently...