Caring for hearing impaired children clinic

  • The CHIC clinic provides coordinated medical and developmental care, including assessment and management of infants and children with permanent hearing loss (sensorineural / ANSD / permanent conductive e.g. microtia).

    The clinic also offers ongoing care and surveillance for families who cannot access a community paediatrician, those with complex needs, and those who are not engaged in early intervention services.

    The clinic aims to engage and upskill community paediatricians in caring for children with hearing loss while offering a consultative service. The clinic supports training and research activities through the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

    Location & time:

    • Specialty Clinic A1 (ground floor) weekly on Wednesday mornings

    Inclusion:

    • Babies / children aged 0 to 17 years with confirmed PERMANENT hearing loss
    • The clinic does not see children with conductive hearing loss without a sensorineural component except for babies with microtia and other exceptional circumstances (to be decided on a case-by-case basis)
    • Ongoing review appointments may be offered to families who
      • Do not already have a paediatrician in the community
      • Have complex needs
      • Are not engaged in early intervention services

    Referral and appointments:

    • A medical referral AND the child’s audiology report are required. Fax to (03) 9345 5034.
    • Please clearly state the referral is for the CHIC Clinic and include Dr Valerie Sung / Dr Georgie Paxton in the referral details.
    • Once referral is received and processed (usually 1-4 weeks), an appointment is made and a letter with details of the appointment is sent to the family.
    • For urgent referrals, please email CHIC@rch.org.au
    • For enquiries about appointments, please call (03) 9345 6180

    Wait times:

    • Priority is given to
      1. Newly diagnosed families who have not had any medical assessment
      2. Children who need urgent intervention / investigations
    • Newly diagnosed families who have already seen an ENT specialist will generally be offered an appointment on a non-urgent basis (e.g. after behavioural testing)
    • Wait times will vary – please email CHIC@rch.org.au to enquire for updated information

    What to bring to appointments:

    • Families will be forwarded questionnaires to fill in at home before the appointment. This helps doctors to focus on the needs of each family at each appointment.
    • GP referral (for all new patients, and every 12 months for review patients)
    • Audiology (hearing) reports
    • Speech / language / psychology / academic assessment reports

    What happens at appointments:

    • A member of the CHIC team will be available to help families complete questionnaires if not already done, weigh/measure the child if appropriate, and check there is an updated GP referral.
    • The doctor will assess and discuss the child’s medical and developmental needs, and refer to the appropriate follow-up services if necessary.
    • The doctor will liaise with external services (e.g. audiology and early intervention services) to enable holistic management of each family.
    • A member of the CHIC team may talk to families about the research initiatives available to them. 

    Contact:

    The CHIC Team:

    • Paediatricians: Dr Valerie Sung, Dr Georgie Paxton, paediatric fellow
    • ENT surgeon: Dr Libby Rose (separate referral to ENT CHIC clinic / Dr Rose is required)
    • Close liaisons with
      • Early intervention services: Taralye, Aurora, Brighton Early Education Program
      • Cochlear Implant Clinic
      • Victorian Clinical Genetics Services
      • Audiology
      • Radiology (MRI)
      • Neurology
      • Ophthalmology
      • Research teams: VicCHILD (MCRI), Melbourne Genomics Alliance