Bradford’s pioneering ear implant centre celebrates 25th anniversary (Telegraph & Argus)

“A HOSPITAL service which has given the gift of hearing to almost 1,000 celebrates its 25th anniversary this month.

The Yorkshire Auditory Implant Service, which has carried out life-changing cochlear implants on 940 people at Bradford Royal Infirmary, is inviting patients old and new to its open anniversary event on Wednesday, August 19.

The implant service was set up by ear, nose and throat consultant surgeon Professor Chris Raine, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, after he learned of the benefits that cochlear implants could bring to patients with profound deafness.

The electronic devices are put inside the inner ear and send a signal to the auditory nerve, giving the patient the sensation of sound.

Since the service started more than 1,000 implants have been fitted at the hospital which is a milestone to celebrate, said Prof Raine.

“Reaching this milestone is an amazing achievement for all of the team and for our patients who now come from across the whole of the north of England and as far away as the Isle of Man,” he said.

“When we started off 25 years ago, there was myself and two others, now the service has more than 28 employees including surgeons, audiologists, speech therapists, teachers of the deaf, technicians and interpreters, who are supported by our administration team.

“This autumn also sees the anniversary of The Ear Trust charity which I created in order to buy the first cochlear implants for our patients as NHS funding was not secured for the service until 1995.

“The charity’s members continue to work so hard to fundraise and support the department today.”

The service also supports a variety of patients with sudden or progressive hearing loss while others are treated for more complex needs.

Its head Jane Martin said: “Our open event will provide an opportunity for staff and patients who have benefitted from the encouragement, commitment and dedicated work of the team here in Bradford, to celebrate what we have achieved over the past 25 years.”