Somerset

St Martin's Hospital in Bath to get paediatric audiology unit

A community hospital in Bath is to get a unit to help babies and children with hearing problems.

Sirona Care and Health, which runs St Martin's Hospital, said the NHS had approved a six-figure sum to help fund the paediatric audiology unit.

The project will see two silent, or near silent rooms, created to properly test the hearing of babies and young children.

Sirona said the new unit was expected to open in the spring of 2013.

Consultant paediatrician Adrian Dighe said the project would "significantly improve the quality of what we can offer to babies needing further treatment and assessment following the screening programme or to children who develop hearing loss later".

"The important thing is that if we can identify hearing loss early then we can intervene earlier," he added.

"The purpose is to get language going - we know there is a window for language development."

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