A tinnitus support group which meets at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital has become one of the first groups in the country to be awarded the Gold Standard for tinnitus support groups by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA).
The group, led by a hearing therapist and audiologists with specialist training in tinnitus therapy, enables people with tinnitus to meet others with the condition, share useful tips on coping methods and find out what help is available.
Colette Bunker, BTA Volunteer and Support Group Manager said: “A group has to meet a number of criteria to be considered a BTA Gold Standard group. These criteria are designed to ensure groups are working hard to be inclusive, encouraging peer-to-peer interaction and are providing people with accurate and up-to-date information in a safe and friendly environment.”
Clare Marris, Specialist hearing therapist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “We applied for Gold Standard accreditation because it is important for us to be peer reviewed regularly to maintain standards and achieve higher goals for the group. This external verification provides reassurance to us and our members that we comply with our mission statement and aims. We can also then attempt to share our experience and vision with other groups.”
Colette commented: “We know that support groups can really help a person lead the best life they can, and the team at Sheffield are dedicated to helping people overcome the distress tinnitus can cause, and we are delighted to be able to recognise their hard work.”