About this service

Audiology at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is a department that detects and diagnoses hearing problems, tinnitus and balance problems. We also help people of all ages manage their hearing impairments.

We offer a full range of hearing assessments and supply the latest high-quality digital hearing aids for free on the NHS.

We also provide specialised rehabilitation and offer help, information and advice about ways of managing your condition such as lip-reading, other communication tactics and specialist equipment for home and work.

Our highly experienced team of audiologists and hearing therapists and work closely with health services in the community and the Ear, Nose and Throat department (ENT) to offer outstanding service and support to our patients.

How can I get seen by the Audiology department?

You can call the audiology department and ask about our services; we are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm. If you have never had a hearing aid before you should speak to your GP first. The Audiology Department only provides care for adult patients with complex hearing loss and paediatric patients. We no longer provide routine audiology for those with age-related hearing loss aged 55 or over.

Contact information

Hearing aids workshop

Hearing therapy

Adult social care

Adult social care can provide support and equipment, such as TV adaptors, door bells, smoke alarms and alerting systems, to assist people with hearing impairment. There are also social workers who can support deaf and hard of hearing people, should you require any additional support. You can contact them via the access team using the details below:

Where to find us

The Audiology department is located at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

From the main Trelawny entrance

From the main entrance continue down the corridor past WH Smiths and take the stairs or lift down to the ground floor. Turn left and continue onto the link corridor, turning left opposite the Emergency Department. Follow that corridor around and we’re on the left, before you get to Oral Surgery.

Other locations

Our specialist staff are able to assess and provide interventions for both adults and children at the following locations across Cornwall:

  • Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital
  • Falmouth Hospital
  • West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance
  • St Michaels Hospital, Hayle
  • Bodmin Hospital
  • St Austell Community Hospital

We may select the most appropriate location dependent on the needs of the patient and the type of assessment required as not all facilities are available at all locations.

Information about NHS hearing aids

The audiology department offers a range of digital hearing aids, which are all supplied free of charge. These hearing aids are some of the most sophisticated available today. They use the latest technology to give you excellent sound quality and work with the other devices.

Aftercare, replacement batteries and repairs

Both aftercare and replacement batteries are supplied free of charge and there is no time limit to this. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you lose your hearing aid, or damage it beyond repair due to carelessness, we may have to charge you for a replacement.

To request replacement batteries, tubes or domes, please contact us stating your name, date of birth and what items you require.

The quickest way to do this is via our:

You can also contact us:

If your hearing aid is broken we offer a postal repair service. You can deliver your hearing aid to us here at Treliske and we will return it to you by post.

Please drop off your hearing aid at the main reception desk of the Trelawny Wing. Please package your hearing aid in an envelope including your name and contact details and a brief description of the problem.

Alternatively, please send your hearing aid via the Post Office (using the Signed for service) to ensure adequate postage. Please remember to include your name and contact details and a brief description of the problem. Send your aid to:

The Audiology Workshop, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, TR1 3LJ


If your need is urgent or you are unable to be without your hearing aid, please call the department.

Specialist hearing aids

We also offer Bone Anchored Hearing Aids, a specialist hearing aid which is suitable for people with a specific type of hearing loss. We are able to provide the assessment, surgery, wound care, fitting and after care. For more information please contact us on 01872 253747

Find out more about Bone Anchored Hearing Aids.

Information about Newborn Hearing Screening

All newborn babies in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are offered a hearing screen as part of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.

Why Screen?

About 2 in every 1000 babies are born with a permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. The screening test helps identify babies with a hearing loss early. Finding a hearing impairment early gives children a better chance of developing speech and language skills, and of making the most of social and emotional interaction from an early age.

Even if there is no family history, it is still important to screen all babies because most babies with hearing loss are born into families with no previous history of the condition.

What does the test involve?

Health Visitors screen babies when they are between 10 and 14 days old, at home, as part of the primary visit.

The test is called the AOAE (automated otoacoustic emission) and takes a few minutes. A small, soft-tipped earpiece is placed in your baby’s ear and soft clicking sounds are played. When the ear receives sound, the inner part (called the cochlea) responds and this can be picked up by the screening equipment.

It is not always possible to get clear responses from the first test. This does not necessarily mean your baby has a hearing loss. It can mean your baby was unsettled when the test was done, there was background noise, you baby has fluid or a temporary blockage in their ear (this is common and passes with time) or your baby has a hearing loss.

If this happens, we will offer your baby another test. This may be the same as the first test or another type called an AABR (automated auditory brainstem response) test.

During an AABR, three small sensors are placed on your baby’s head and neck, and soft headphones are placed on your baby’s ears whilst soft clicking sounds are played. This test takes up to 30 minutes and is done by specially trained staff.

Possible Results

If your baby has clear response in both ears then they are unlikely to have a permanent hearing loss. However, newborn hearing screening does not pick up all types of hearing loss and children can develop hearing loss later on. It is important to check your child’s hearing as they grow up.

The checklist in your baby’s personal child health record (red book) tells you how to do this. If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing tell your health visitor or family doctor.

If the screening results do not show a clear response from one or both of your baby’s ears, we’ll make an appointment with audiology to see a hearing specialist. About 2-3 babies in every 100 do not show a clear response on the screening tests. Being sent for further tests does not necessarily mean your baby has a hearing loss.

You and your baby will see a hearing specialist, usually within four weeks of having your baby’s hearing screen. It is very important that you attend the appointment in case your baby has a hearing loss.

Getting Results

You will be given your baby’s results as soon as the hearing test is done

If your baby has been on the Neonatal Unit

Around one in every 100 babies who spend more than 48 hours on the Neonatal Unit has a hearing loss in one or both ears. We offer these babies both AOAE and AABR tests when they are at least 34 weeks gestation and up to 3 months of age.

Specially trained staff will undertake these tests and is usually when the baby is near to discharge, when treatment and intervention is complete.

For further information, please contact the Newborn Hearing Screening Manager, Sandy Dyer, on 01872 25 3998 or

You can also find out more about the programme via the link below:

Professional careers in audiology

There are multiple ways to find out about careers in this area:

Page last reviewed: 11 December 2023

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