Category: News

2017/2018 Events Updated!



  • Fri 16th & Sat 17th March 2018 -AGM & Full Members Meeting – Venue TBC
  • Fri 8th & Sat 9th June 2018 – Full Members Meeting & Business Networking Evening – Venue TBC
  • Fri 16th & Sat 17th November 2018 – The AIHHP Hearing Expo & ’12th Golden Lobe’ Awards – Venue TBC

If you are interested in receiving more information about attending or exhibiting at any of the above events, please email Stephanie Meli at or call 07704 880626.

AIHHP Winners All Around!

Congratulations to Duncan Collet-Fenson – current Treasurer and past Chair of AIHHP and Peter Ferguson on winning European Audiologist of the Year and Irish Audiologist of the Year respectively!




A dedicated hearing care professional has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the hearing industry after scooping a prestigious award.

Duncan Collet-Fenson of Aston Hearing Services in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, claimed the coveted title of European Audiologist of the Year (AOTY) 2016 just weeks after being announced as the UK Audiologist of the Year, beating off tough competition from eight countries across Europe.

The AOTY judges were particularly inspired by the impact Duncan has had and continues to have on his patient Nicola’s life.

Nicola, who nominated Duncan for the prestigious award, said: “Thanks to the continued support of Duncan my story is a happy but complex one. He and his team have been there for me at every turn.

“From childhood I had an 80% hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other. I lived happily with this until I experienced Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) in my ‘normal hearing’ ear. My life had changed; I could no longer hear. With a young family I desperately needed to reconnect to the hearing world.

“I feel very fortunate at this point to have discovered Aston Hearing Services and to have met Duncan. With patience and understanding he guided me through the options and was always available to answer questions. This was especially important as I undertook more challenges and new, noisier situations.

“Duncan provides care and support well beyond the provision of hearing aids. I felt my personal story could help people understand the impact of SSHL and I have worked together with Duncan on a campaign to raise public awareness of the condition. We often give group talks and have published articles in magazines. We even ran a cookery course for a group of ladies who had similarly lost their hearing. This was a great success and allowed us all to share feelings of loneliness and isolation caused by hearing loss.

“My relationship with Duncan and his team is one of complete trust. I am very fortunate to have Duncan as my audiologist and friend and he deserves to be recognised for all his hard work and support to all his clients.”

Now in its ninth year, the Audiologist of the Year competition – which is run in partnership between Rayovac, the world’s number one hearing aid battery manufacturer* and a division of Spectrum Brands Inc., Audio Infos, a leading international hearing publication for the audiology industry, and the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), – celebrates the exceptional work of hearing care professionals across Europe.

An independent judging panel of 17 industry professionals worked throughout the summer to whittle down the anonymous entries and find a worthy winner from the hundreds of entries from across the UK, Ireland, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Each nominee is scored on the dedication, commitment, knowledge and levels of care demonstrated in their patient’s entry. A winner is selected from each of the participating countries in September, with one of these going on to be crowned European champion.

The European Audiologist of the Year title was awarded to Duncan during Rayovac’s annual Evening of Excellence, held during the EUHA congress in Hannover, Germany, in October.

Duncan said: “I am delighted to have won the UK Audiologist of the Year and then to win the European award, it is truly unbelievable.  My team and I are very excited about future opportunities to use these wonderful accolades as a platform to raise awareness to the general public and also to educate fellow healthcare providers of the importance of hearing healthcare.

“We want to encourage everyone to treat ears and hearing with the same respect and levels of importance as eyes and eyesight. Nicola’s experience shows that awareness of your personal hearing health, positive intervention and individual support can make a real tangible difference to the individual and their wider family.”

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: “Every year we are blown away by the sheer number of truly inspirational hearing stories we receive from people across Europe. The Audiologist of the Year competition is a real highlight on our calendar and it’s great to be able to reward these outstanding professionals with the recognition they deserve.

“Audiologists such as Duncan and all of our country finalists are leading the way in driving up standards of care in the hearing industry across Europe. We wholeheartedly congratulate Duncan and all of the country winners and our thanks go to all of the patients who took time to nominate their hearing professional.”

Other country winners who were in the running for the European title were:

  •  Pierre-Olivier Grenot, France
  • Thomas Müller, Germany
  • Peter Ferguson, Ireland
  • Wilgis Schoffelmeijer, Netherlands
  • Bibiana Sovieri González, Spain
  • Åsa Skagerstrand, Sweden
  • Reinhard Fenzl, Austria

For regular updates on this year’s Audiologist of the Year competition, visit, follow Rayovac on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at

– ENDS –

Media contacts:

Anna Mitchell                                                                                   Emily Potts

PR Account Director                                                                        Senior PR Account Manager

Tel: 0191 261 4250                                                                           Tel: 0191 261 4250

Mob: 07970 728 758                                                                       Mob: 07960 968450                                  

The AIHHP Hearing Expo 2016 & 10th Golden Lobe Awards!

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This year we have a tremendous line up of internationally renowned speakers – click on the links below to find out more about their presentations and to read their bio’s.

As always, the Friday conference & exhibition is OPEN TO ALL (with the Saturday being kept for AIHHP Full & Executive Members.)

Professor John Wright, FIB FCIOBS
John retired as Chief Executive of Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks in 2001 and is now a Serial Non Executive Director and Consultant, as well as Visiting Professor at Heriot Watt University Business School.

Professor Brian Taylor
Turtle Beach – Senior Director of clinical affairs for Hypersound.
Brian is also a clinical audiology advisor for the Fuel Medical Group and an adjunct professor for A.T. Still University Arizona School of Health Sciences.

Paul Lamb
Technical Director, Starkey Hearing Technologies.

Mark Beasley
Marketing Consultant & Chair of the Mature Marketing Association.

Marketing and the UK’s Ageing Consumer

The UK’s population will continue to age for the rest of this century. The increasing number of older consumers will be more diverse and more demanding than ever before. Discover what this means for your business and your marketing from one of the UK’s leading experts on mature marketing.

Professor David Baguley
Professor of Hearing Sciences, University of Nottingham, and Deputy Director, NIHR Nottingham Hearing Research Unit, President of The British Tinnitus Association.

Tinnitus Update: Theory and Practice

In this presentation David will undertake a guided tour through recent insights and developments in tinnitus. Research into mechanisms of tinnitus has made progress, and there are some new ideas about the relationship between tinnitus and decreased sound tolerance (hyperacusis). Clinical practice is also changing, and there are opportunities for independent sector Audiologists to support and treat patients with tinnitus.

Professor Marshall Chasin, AuD
Director of Auditory Research at the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada, Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal & Editor in Chief, Canadian Audiologist.

Hearing Aids & Music:

Music and speech have some differences which include spectral shape, intensity and “crest factors”.  Most modern digital hearing aids cannot handle the more intense inputs that are characteristic of music.

Four new technologies and four clinical strategies will be provided to optimize hearing aids for music as well as for speech.  These technologies are designed to circumvent some problems associated with the analog-to-digital conversion process- a major weak point with modern hearing aids

Alison Stone
Training Manager, Oticon.

Dr Daniel Rowan MSc, PhD
Director of Programmes (Audiology) University of Southampton




10th Golde Lobe Awards

For this special anniversary occasion, we’ll be holding a Glittering, Golden Gala Awards Evening on Fri 18th November 2016, celebrating Good Times Past and Inspiring Future Independents.There’ll be a three course dinner and live music featuring ‘The Guv’nas’ – a five-piece band who’ll play a lively mix of foot-tapping, get-up-and-dance blues and rock ‘n’ roll music.

Book 3 places to the

10th Golden Lobes Gala Awards Evening…

and get a 4th place FREE of charge!

Acoustic Metrology Ltd

Why not have your equipment calibrated at the conference by a AML Calibration Engineer. Save down time and take advantage of their special exhibition rates. For more information click here.

Many thanks to our Diamond Sponsors for 2016!

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2016/17 Events Updated!

  • Fri 18th & Sat 19th November 2016 – The AIHHP Conference, Exhibition & ’10th Golden Lobe’ Awards – The Nottingham Belfry Q Hotel
  • Full Members Meeting – 10/11 March 2017 – Venue TBC
  • AGM & Full Members Meeting – 16/17 June 2017 – Venue TBC 
  • Fri 10th & Sat 11th November 2017 – The AIHHP Conference, Exhibition & ’11th Golden Lobe’ Awards – Venue TBC

If you are interested in receiving more information about attending or exhibiting at any of the above events, please email Stephanie Meli at or call 07704 880626.

The AIHHP November 2014 Conference, Exhibition & 8th Golden Lobe Awards

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AIHHP’s 2014 Autumn Conference & Exhibition is taking place at the Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel just off of junction 26 of the M25.

Bordering the ancient woodlands of Epping Forest, Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel in Essex is not far from Stansted Airport and close to a central line tube station in to the city of London. The hotel’s full address is:

Old Shire Lane  Waltham Abbey  England  EN93LX  United Kingdom 

As before delegates from all sectors of the audiological community are invited to attend the main conference day on Friday 28th November.  The Saturday is open to AIHHP Executive & Full Members only and gives our sponsors of the event an opportunity to present to this select audience.

CLICK HERE NOW to book your place!

Book 3 places at the Golden Lobe Awards & Swing Ball and get a 4th PLACE FREE!


AIHHP would like to thank the Diamond Sponsors of this Autumn’s Conference!

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An informative and entertaining programme of events has been scheduled including a fantastic exhibition, a great line-up of industry expert speakers and the stylish ‘AIHHP Swing Ball’ Evening.


Photographer  SP-UK-logos-NEW1Once the 8th annual ‘Golden Lobe’ Awards have been announced, the evening will transform into the ‘AIHHP Swing Ball’ – where you step out in style!


After a sumptuous three course dinner, Swing Patrol (as seen on Dragon’s Den) will bring us an incredible night of dancing, live music and general merriment.

We will start the night with a fun beginner-friendly lesson so even if you have never danced before you’ll be swinging away by the end of the night. Come along and dance into the wee small hours!

CLICK HERE NOW to book your place!

Book 3 places at the Golden Lobe Awards & Swing Ball and get a 4th PLACE FREE!


SPECIAL DISCOUNT on Calibration Services from Acoustic Metrology LTD.

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Why not have your equipment calibrated at the conference by a AML Calibration Engineer. Save down time and take advantage of their special exhibition rates. For more information click here

AIHHP Tribute to Lawrence Werth





Lawrence receiving the AIHHP Special Recognition Golden Lobe Award, for services to the Independent Hearing Aid Industry in October 2010.












Lawrence Werth’s contribution to the hearing healthcare profession was incredibly significant, not only with PC Werth but also as the Chairman of British Hearing Aid Manufacturers Association (BHAMA).

He was, without question a leading authority figure in the audiology community, although what will always stay with me is Lawrence’s enthusiasm for the profession and it’s people.   

Lawrence had a natural, academic instinct with regards to audiology, appreciating and understanding the complexities of manufacture, distribution through to provision and the end user.  This ability to appreciate the industry from it’s many facets gained him respect from all areas and will ensure his memory and legacy will stay with us.  

He was omnipresent at all events and thrived in the company of people happy to debate the latest topics.  He greeted innovation with a professional eye but  with the look and enthusiasm of a child at Christmas.

Above all else he was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and will be greatly missed.

Thank you Lawrence for your guidance, advice and friendship.

Duncan Collet-Fenson, Chair – AIHHP – On behalf of AIHHP Council & Executive Members

Which? Survey: Independents are the Best Hearing Aid Providers

allagehearingtriangle2400 Which? Members who had bought a hearing aid in the past 3 years were recently surveyed to find out about their hearing aid buying experiences in the UK.

Results were based on a survey conducted between 28th March and 8th April 2014 of 407 Which? Connect members who had bought a hearing aid within the previous 3 years.

80 local independent retailers along with 255 national retailers made up the sample.

Customers scores were a combination of satisfaction and recommendation and the star ratings for product and pricing were based on the range of products, transparency of their pricing, clarity of information provided with them and time given to decide on products.

Staff and Service was made up of ratings of the professionalism and knowledge of staff, customer service, handling of questions and concerns plus explanations given.

AIHHP is delighted to see the latest findings from this survey, which supports the work of its’ independent members.

Chair, Duncan Collet-Fenson commented “As a group of leading hearing aid audiologists who are committed to promoting and maintaining the very highest professional and ethical standards in hearing healthcare; our aim is always to ensure that the needs of our customers are put first, without any allegiance to specific manufacturers. By being independent we can absolutely guarantee the best solution to meet our customers hearing requirements.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with the Chair of AIHHP, please contact PR & Marketing Manager:

Stephanie Meli on 01757 248943 or via email:

AIHHP Welcome new Council Member


The Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) are pleased to announce the addition of Colin Eaton onto their council.

Nominated by fellow member Stephen Neal and voted onto council at AIHHP’s Annual General Meeting on Sat 1st March 2014, Colin, owner of Honiton Hearing Centre and with 15yrs experience in the industry, is well placed to join the other 10 Executive members that run AIHHP.

AIHHP is a not for profit professional association dedicated to promoting excellence within the UK Hearing Care profession.

AIHHP members provide a range of higher quality services including hearing assessments, hearing aid provision, hearing protection and other specialised services relating to hearing than would normally be found on the high street.



AIHHP members were described later the same day by guest speaker, Starkey’s Jason Galster as being:

“…in my opinion, among the top hearing aid audiologists anywhere in the world!

Jason, Manager of Clinical & Comparative Research at Starkey Hearing Technologies in Minnesota went on to say:

If UK consumers are looking for high-quality, independent advice on hearing care, they should locate the nearest AIHHP member and ask about hearing aids, hearing protection and other services.

Colin was delighted to be voted onto the AIHHP council, saying:

“I have been a full member of AIHHP for many years now, and their ethos of best practice, best technology, and best client care is something I whole heartedly endorse, we were awarded AIHHP Centre of Excellence status shortly after we joined the Association, and to be recognised as such by our peers is something we are extremely proud of, the path towards serving on the AIHHP council was an obvious next step, and I look forward to doing my best for the Association.”

The AIHHP Council members have regular conference calls, meet before each conference as well as working behind the scenes on various projects on behalf of all AIHHP members to ensure the UK public can be provided with the best possible standards in hearing care.

For further information on how to join AIHHP please call 01896 755473 or email

AIHHP Member Bringing hearing to Romania

Carolina cries improvisingVicki Carolina Ella






Vicki Skeels, owner of The Hearing Care Centre in Colchester and who also serves on AIHHP’s council, spent a week in Romania at the end of October 2013, carrying out hearing related charity work for two charities: The Christiana Association in Brasov & The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation in Bucharest.

Vicki and Dr Ella Carmaciu, The Hearing Care Centre’s new micro-suction specialist (who comes from Romania), and their teenage children visited Brasov and Bucharest, where they provided free ear examinations, hearing tests and micro-suction/wax removal, along with fitting old hearing aids donated by clients and the Lions Club. The aids were refurbished in the UK by prison inmates, as part of a rehabilitation programme. Phonak kindly supplied the batteries and Arlington Labs has produced brand new ear moulds for each patient.

‘People usually think of children with charity work in Romania, but the old people there are just as vulnerable,’ Vicki explains. ‘Many are alone, as their children often leave the country to find better work. They have no state benefits and a meagre pension, so cannot afford hearing aids if they lose their hearing.

‘We fitted about 55 aids over just a few days. It was intense, but so rewarding to see the joy these little devices could bring. Many of the recipients heard properly for the first time in decades, and their emotions often brought tears to our eyes. We are already planning to return next year.’

Editorial Contact:
Nancy Usher, The Hearing Care Centre
Tel: 01206 760839
Mob: 07884 295223

About The Hearing Care Centre

The Hearing Care Centre is a multi-award winning private hearing aid clinic based at 3B Headgate, Colchester, serving the hard-of-hearing population across North and Mid Essex. It fits the latest in hi-tech digital hearing aids from a range of top manufacturers, also providing specialist hearing assessments and other related services.

Established by Vicki Skeels RHAD FSHAA in 1998, the Centre has since grown to include a number of satellite clinics in the surrounding region and a team of fully qualified, independent hearing aid audiologists/dispensers.

Professional staff are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, BSHAA (British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists) and AIHHP (Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals). The Centre is also an AIHHP Centre of Excellence and has been accredited by the BSHAA customer service scheme.

AIHHP Executive Member crowned as Irish Audiologist of the Year!


Peter Ferguson Oct13 (626x800)

An inspirational audiologist from Ireland, has fought off tough competition to scoop the title of Irish Audiologist of the Year, after going above and beyond to transform the lives of his hearing patients.

The winner of the prestigious audiology accolade has been announced as top audiologist, Peter Ferguson.

Launched for the first time this year in Ireland, but now in its sixth year internationally, the competition, which is run in a partnership between the world’s leading hearing aid battery manufacturer, Rayovac, and leading magazine Audio Infos, celebrates the exceptional work of audiologists across Europe. An independent judging process, which included a panel of Ireland’s industry professionals, took place during the summer months, to whittle down the nominees to determine the Irish winner, focusing on the dedication, commitment, knowledge and levels of care demonstrated.

Peter was nominated by Eamonn Carew, whose inspiring story helped the judging panel make the decision to award Peter as Ireland’s top hearing professional. The judges were greatly impressed by Peter’s attention to his patient’s comfort and well-being, his commitment to keeping up with the latest technology and his dedication to fund-raising for the local deaf community.

Despite suffering with hearing loss from a young age, Eamonn refused to wear hearing aids due to the social stigma which can sometimes be associated with traditional, behind-the-ear devices. Once it became apparent that Eamonn needed the aids on a daily basis, and that in the ear hearing aids were unsuitable for him, his confidence took a knock, something which Peter immediately recognised and acted upon.

In his nomination for Peter, Eamonn said: “Peter always displayed great patience and kindness in situations where I was lacking confidence and has managed to rid me of my self-consciousness.

“On the occasional visits where my wife accompanies me, she is always made most welcome and is always included totally in my consultation. Peter always takes great care to investigate any observations which she makes regarding my hearing which may differ from my own observations.

“Peter seems to have all the time in the world for you when you are with him. Despite having a very large number of patients he always remembers details regarding your family, holidays, birthdays etc. In short, each visit is a pleasure and you always feel better on leaving than on entering.”

Despite running a busy clinic, Peter’s dedication to improving the lives of people with hearing loss extends way beyond his day job. Not only is he a founding member of the Mid West School for Hearing Impaired Children in Limerick – the only specialist deaf school outside of Dublin – but he was also heavily involved in ongoing fund raising and equipment donation for the school and was the president of the Association of Mid West Parents of Deaf Children.

A member of the judging panel, Jim Sharkey from Advance Hearing, said: “I really like this entry as it shows a high level of professionalism within the centre itself backed up by a strong feeling of trust with the audiologist and a general overall perception of efficacy.

“Patience, kindness and the comfort of an audiologist who always has the time and interest in the client and the reference to fund raising and the relationship with the local deaf school is also a reason for the high mark for this entry.”

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: “Every year, Audiologist of the Year showcases some wonderful examples of professionalism, patience and kindness; it’s about finding people that go above and beyond the call of duty and really make a difference to their patient’s lives. The announcement of the country winners is one of the highlights of the year for Rayovac and after six years, the competition is growing stronger than ever.

“Audiologist of the Year is independently judged so when the announcements are made it’s a great surprise to all the Rayovac team and a particularly exciting one. I’m so proud to be a part of this fantastic award and look forward to discovering who will win the overall prize of Audiologist of the Year, due to be announced at this year’s Evening of Excellence.”