Legal Stuff: ERA Training & Consultancy Ltd (ERATC), its Division ABR Peer Review, Directors and Consultants working on their behalf offer advice, peer review services and guidance in good faith and intended to reflect best clinical practice, based on current NHSP national guidance. However the responsibility for the correct diagnosis and management of individual patients must remain with the NHS Trust in which they were seen. ERATC can accept no responsibility for any errors of diagnosis or management of patients resulting from advice given by them or on their behalf.
Post-screening support of ABR testing (creation & updating of guidance documents, staff training, QA and establishing local peer review schemes) has always been an integral component of the English Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP).
This integrated approach is one of the reasons why England has won international recognition as leader in this subject.
The recent transition of NHSP (and other national screening programmes) to Public Health England (PHE) means that NHSP's brief no longer includes diagnostics. From 1st April 2014 NHSP are no longer coordinating or delivering post-screening diagnostic support. Instead, Audiology departments, either individually or in groups, need to make their own arrangements for this.
Peer Review is an essential component of ABR service specifications that commissioners and service providers must consider but “Peer Review” used to mean different things to different people: historically there was a variety of types of scheme. NHSP prepared guidance on what constitutes adequate and effective Peer Review. This guidance is particularly valuable as a reference document now that NHSP are no longer able to provide direct support in this area.
The guidance is now available as a British Society of Audiology document.
ERA Training & Consultancy is exploring how it can help. This might include:
• Providing training, reviewer accreditation and support for new Peer Review groups
• Providing periodic reviewer moderation and case arbitration for existing Peer Review groups
• Where no local Peer Review arrangement is in place, the direct provision of a Peer Review service for individual Audiology departments.
ERA Training & Consultancy is uniquely placed to deliver these services since the Director, Dr Guy Lightfoot, helped provide them as a consultant working under the auspices of NHSP and was the editor or contributor to many of the NHSP ABR guidance documents. This ensures continuity of standards and technical advice.