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Dr Carling was delighted to speak at this years British Academy of Audiology Annual Conference, held earlier this month at the Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry. She presented with Dr Sudeb Mandal, who she works closely with as part of the NHS ENT team at Kent Community ENT, Borough Green.

Their talk, tilted ‘Audiology and ENT within general practice in the community: An innovative and novel approach to comprehensive and patient-centric service delivery in West Kent’, highlights the benefits of this unique service model and how it has developed and grown since it was established 20 years ago by Dr Paul Unwin.

Today the team at West Kent Community ENT comprises of GP’s with extended roles, ENT Consultants, Audiologists, Nurses, HCAs, a Vestibular Physiotherapist and administrators.  This multi-disiplinary approach allows triaged patients to see the most appropriate person for their needs and, should there be a subsequent identified complexity, the rapid involvement of other members of the team can be actioned quickly.   It also allows for the best use of what each specialist has to offer and delivers a more flexible, efficient and adaptable service than traditional structures.  During the Covid pandemic, the service was able to quickly resume, providing essential healthcare in ENT, and has always played a valued role in taking pressure off the local hospitals.

The talk highlighted the team ethos and structure, as well as the various conditions that are managed, with emphasis on ear pathologies, hearing loss, aural and vestibular assessment and rehabilitation.  It also highlighted how team members are included based not just on qualifications and education, but on values, motivation, critical thinking and open-mindedness.

Dr Carling commented: ‘It is always a pleasure to speak at the BAA Annual Conference and  particularly so this year with Dr Mandal.  I’m delighted that so many delegates attended our presentation.  I was also excellent to see many old friends and colleagues. Thanks to the BAA for putting on another excellent event.’