Aim To establish whether parents feel that they were told about their child's hearing loss in a way that accorded with the recommendations laid down in the objectives of a family friendly service.
Method The North West Paediatric Audiology Audit Group sent out questionnaires to parents of children who had had their sensorineural hearing loss confirmed more than 6 months and less than 3 years previously. This was a repeat of a similar study carried out in 2005. Questionnaires were sent out between January 2009 and August 2009 with a reminder being sent to non-responders.
Results 16 trusts took part, 123 families were contacted and 67 forms were returned (54.5%). 62% of parents remembered being accompanied to the appointment; 82% remembered that the clinician introduced themselves; 92% said that their preferred language was used during the appointment; 86% of parents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the way that the news was given; 94% felt that they had enough privacy at the time the news was given; 81% said they were given enough time to ask questions; 71% remembered being given a contact name and telephone number; 77% felt that the amount of information given to them was about right; 74% felt that the information given was easy or very easy to understand; 70% remembered being given written information to take away with them.
Conclusion Newborn hearing screening is now in place across England and most new cases of confirmed sensorineural hearing loss are in babies. All clinicians who share the news should have been training to give the news. The results were all improved compared with those in 2005 but none achieved the exacting standards set of 100%.