Reacting to the news, BSHAA president Andrew Coulter said: “I’m incredibly disappointed with BAA’s decision, which is a real setback for the creation of a College of Audiology. The sector needs a strong, unified voice to achieve much greater influence to lobby for the policy changes that are desperately needed – I remain committed to this. We’ll be looking to continue dialogue with our other partners in the College discussions before determining a new way forward that the public deserve. And I hope that we can work with BAA to get them back into the discussions.”
BSHAA chief executive Prof David Welbourn added: “This is both a surprise and a profoundly disappointing backward step. The talks around a College of Audiology have always been aimed at creating a more powerful influence for the profession on behalf of a public in which the voice of those with hearing loss is largely ignored by society. BAA’s decision to walk away from the discussions provides a stark illustration of why the audiology sector continues to be so under-represented around the policy table.
“For the last year, we have felt to be on the cusp of a tremendous breakthrough on behalf of those we serve. The future of hearing care depends on us all working together to deliver a powerful, unifying voice. I hope we can still get there.”