As I write this, we are now in our 8th week of lockdown and a strange new time of many ways of working and living. Many of us who embraced the start of 2020 with hopes, plans and dreams will be readjusting these and wondering when we can reliably look to the future again. However right here and now most of us are taking each day as it comes (grateful for that) and only looking a short way ahead as to how we can operate in a safe and effective way that can meet the needs of our audiology patients in an ever-evolving landscape. As we turn on the news we hear about woeful statistics, advice and recovery plans still all shadowed by these could change should there be a 2nd spike of Covid-19. It is confused as each home nation is taking their own lead on managing lockdown now which leads each Trust, Organisation and individual to interpret and mobilise in different ways. I guess one thing we can say is that we are all doing our best.
I don’t know about anyone else, but time seems to be operating in a different continuum- no sooner do I sit at my home desk on a Monday morning and then in the bat of an eyelid it is Friday afternoon! Where did the time go? In that time, I will have worked nonstop on Teams, Go To and Zoom talking, planning, researching, training, presenting across extremely broad spectrums from toilet access, PPE to recovery plans and I am sure this resonates with many of you too. Then, of course, there are many of you juggling this and clinic demands so hats off to you. Let’s not mention homeschooling!
Our biweekly Heads of Services Go To Meetings have proved popular and an important consistent contact for all us where we can learn from each other, share ideas and ask questions of each other. I am very proud of how these have developed and how you have all engaged and I would like to say a very big thank you. At Board level, we keep looking for the best ways to keep evolving BAA to be a “Go To” inclusive organisation, which is proactive, supportive, guiding and keeps you connected. We have certainly been busy trying to do just that. Over the last few weeks we have;
· Driven guidance on the management of babies’ hearing screening and diagnostics with the significant help of Jason Smalley, Ed Brown and the rest of Newborn Hearing Screening Team supported by Board member Dr Michelle Foster – A massive thanks to all involved.
· Worked collaboratively with other professional bodies to update and produce the Audiology & Otology Guidance including linking in with ENT UK and the Infection Prevention Society. This guidance will be reviewed at the end of May.
· SQC has worked with ManCad on producing a magnificent guide and resource on remote working practices which is a live document to be updated as we learn more and share experiences. Don’t forget we are hosting a webinar on Fri 22nd May 3pm – visit our website for more details.
· Added resources to our HOS section
· Talking of websites – we hope you are enjoying our new platform and its functionality – we are still continuing to build on content and design, so keep visiting. We would welcome any contributions, experiences, protocols and pathway designs to add to our knowledge hub which can be shared with other members.
As many have said we never would have wished to be in this situation but now that we are, it presents an opportunity. An opportunity to think innovatively, to redesign systems, processes and pathways and to look at how meetings and training can be delivered more efficiently. BAA are keen to ensure that we understand, support and call for the right help as you all deal with the realisation of what part switch on to full switch on entails. The Heads of Services meeting provides a great platform for us to explore this but if there is more we can do then we are keen to understand how. We are also passionate to get the right communication platforms and Victoria is exploring our options for this.
I look forward to seeing many of you virtually at the next Heads of Service meeting.
I’ll finish by saying I hope you, your families and teams continue to stay safe and healthy and my thoughts are with all those directly impacted by Covid-19. I’d like to also give a heartfelt thanks and express my admiration to all those audiology colleagues who continue to be redeployed into other areas supporting our health care sector at this time.
Remember you can email me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org