A dedicated hearing professional has been crowned the UK’s top audiologist after a closely fought competition.
Duncan Collet-Fenson of Aston Hearing Services in Amersham has scooped the coveted title of Audiologist of the Year 2016, after a heartfelt nomination from one of his patients swung the judges’ decision. The award, in its ninth year, is run in partnership between Rayovac, a world leading 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), which represents Europe’s major hearing instrument manufacturers.
The competition celebrates the very best in the hearing care profession, inviting patients from 10 countries across Europe to share their stories and say how their audiologist has made a difference to their lives. With hundreds of nominations that are anonymously judged, the independent panel of industry judges has been busy deliberating over the summer, with Duncan ultimately being announced as the UK winner.
Duncan was nominated by his patient Nicola Magrath, a mother of two with long-term hearing loss.
Nicola 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.”
Judge Søren Hougaard, from EHIMA, said: “Every year we receive so many inspiring nominations and it’s wonderful to celebrate the admirable work of audiologists across Europe. On behalf of all at EHIMA, I’d like to congratulate this years’ winner and thank every hearing professional across Europe for the incredible difference they’re making to their patients’ lives.”
Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac, said: “We’re delighted to announce Duncan as the UK winner. His hard work, dedication, patience and kindness really shone through and I know it was a very difficult decision for the panel of judges to make.
“Nine years into the competition and still, every year, we’re overwhelmed by the heart-warming entries we receive. The entries show that this really is more than just a job; the level of dedication and care demonstrated by the nominee is phenomenal. Audiologist of the Year is an award we’re very proud to have founded and continue to back alongside our partners EHIMA and Audio Infos. Now we can look forward to celebrating the overall European winner at our upcoming event in October. I’d like to wish all our country winners the very best of luck!”
Judging is now taking place to decide which of the country winners from the participating countries will win the overall title of European Audiologist of the Year. The winner will receive a cash prize along with a certificate, which will be presented at the annual Evening of Excellence in Hannover this October.