Assessing service quality in paediatric audiology and early deaf education

J Bamford, C Battersby, D Beresford, A Davis, S Gregory, S Hind, L Moore, K Reeve
British Journal of Audiology 2001, 35 (6): 329-38
Quality monitoring and assurance is a key aspect of evidence-based service provision in health and education. Part I of the present paper summarizes the results from a survey in which performance of health-based paediatric audiology services in the UK was assessed against existing good practice guidelines (NDCS, 1994, 1996). The results of the survey indicated varied levels of provision, with guidelines commonly not followed. Part II of the paper reports the detailed development of two short questionnaires designed to provide scores (out of 100) reflecting aspects of service quality in paediatric audiology services and in early deaf education services. The results from the use of the two indices (the Paediatric Audiology Service Index (PASI) and the Deaf Education Early Service Index (DEESI)) are presented along with data from some component questions. Although some services are functioning close to guideline levels of service, the overall distribution of scores is such as to raise serious concerns about the variability of quality and the consequent inequity of provision for children with permanent hearing loss and their families in both health and education services.


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