3 rd

Sharing The News (Gwen Carr & Adam Walker)

Communicating Effectively with Families Around the Time of Early Identification of Deafness and Ongoing Paediatric Care

Tuesday 26 April 2022 - Wednesday 27 April 2022
Course full
Course fee:

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
Sackville Street
M1 3BB

Website  Directions

Non-residential course

Delegates are responsible for booking their own accommodation for this course.


This unique and highly regarded 2-day course is led by Gwen Carr and Adam Walker, working with experienced professional actors. The course is in its 17th year, and was hosted by NHSP from 2005 until 2014. Anne Davies is pleased to offer this course as part of the portfolio of Anne Davies Audiology Courses.

How news of deafness is communicated and information is shared, both at the time of confirmation of hearing loss and in the months and years beyond, can have a significant impact on families in terms of their adjustment to their baby’s diagnosis and their engagement and involvement with services.

The course is research based and evidence informed. It is designed for professionals who are involved with families either at the time of early identification of deafness and the period afterwards, or involved in later follow up care in the paediatric context, where practitioners may experience situations where effective communication may prove difficult or challenging. The course is highly interactive, and includes experiential practice with professional actors as well as opportunity to hear and discuss real family experiences.

“The single most effective predictor of a newly identified child’s success is the meaningful and effective involvement of his or her parents and family.” (Yoshinaga-Itano, 2000)

Course faculty
Gwen Carr

Consultant in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention and Family Centred Practice
Honorary Senior Research Associate, The University College London Ear Institute

Gwen was for many years Head of Sensory Services in a metropolitan authority, working closely with the Health Authority and in particular Audiology, and then spent four years as Director of UK Services and Deputy CEO of the National Deaf Children’s Society, before joining the England Newborn Hearing Screening Programme as Deputy Director to Professor Adrian Davis.

Since her retirement from the role of National Programmes Lead for Antenatal and Newborn Screening for Public Health England in summer 2014, she has worked as an independent research and development consultant primarily in the field of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention and Family Support.

Gwen’s current work focuses on research, service development and training which actively promotes evidence-based family centred approaches to service provision both in the UK and overseas. She also serves as a member of the executive group for the International conferences on Family Centred Early Intervention; a member of the Quality and Clinical Governance Group of the Wales Newborn Hearing Screening Programme and a member of the Global Research on Developmental Disabilities Collaborative Group.

Gwen developed the Sharing The News course originally as an NHSP / NDCS collaboration and has evolved and delivered it over many years in a variety of international contexts. The course is run with a team of professional actors / coaches who have extensive expertise in this field.

Adam Walker

Clinical Scientist (Audiology)
Trafford Hospitals,
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS FT,

Adam obtained his MSc in Audiology from The University of Manchester in 2005 and subsequently undertook clinical training at South Manchester University Hospitals Trust. Following this he worked at the Manchester Cochlear Implant Programme until October 2011, at which point he was appointed as Lead Paediatric Audiologist for the Trafford Hospitals Division of the Central Manchester Foundation Trust.  He sits on the BAA SQC committee and is an ABR peer reviewer for the Greater Manchester ABR peer review group.  He was awarded the Phonak & BAA Paediatric Audiologist of the Year award in 2017.

Course programme
Tuesday 26th April 2022
9.30 Arrival, Registration and Refreshments
10.00 Impact of communication on parents
Gwen Carr
10.30 Parental perceptions and reflections on their screening and diagnostic experiences
Gwen Carr
11.30 Break
11.45 Effective Communication: Skills and Techniques Part 1
12.50 Lunch
1.30 Effective Communication: Skills and Techniques Part 2
2.45 Break
3.00 ‘Forum Theatre’ session
Actor-coaches and Gwen Carr
4.10 Plenary and preparation for Day Two activities
4.30 End of Day
Wednesday 27th April 2022
9.30 Arrival and Refreshments
10.00 Personal Construing
Gwen Carr
10.45 Active Practice group work
11.45 Break
12.00 Active Practice group work
1.15 Lunch
1.55 Active Practice group work
3.00 Break
3.15 What do parents say they want?
Gwen Carr
4.00 Closing Plenary Session
4.30 Close of Course
Course content

Impact of communication on parents
An overview of the underpinning research and evidence base.

Parental perceptions and reflections on their screening and diagnostic experiences
This interactive session uses video footage of parents of young deaf children who have received their services within the screening to early intervention pathway in the UK context.

Effective Communication: Skills and Techniques Part 1
This session involves working with the acting team in large and small groups to explore and practise a number of different techniques which can affect how communication and information sharing is both expressed and received, looking at active listening, body language, congruence and appreciative disagreement.

Effective Communication: Skills and Techniques Part 2
Building on the earlier activities, this session focuses on how to establish genuine rapport with families and to ask ‘good’ questions which elicit information to help the relationship and positive understanding and management of child and family needs moving forward.

’Forum Theatre’ Session
Forum theatre is a facilitated group activity whereby the actor-coaches present / role play a scenario and invite discussion. The scenario is shown twice, with the ‘replay’ being open to the active input of the group to make comment and give direction to affect the situation and enable a different outcome.

Personal Construing
This session explores the issue of personal construct – how we make sense of and interpret events as they confront us. It examines how the personal beliefs and experiences of people in any encounter can affect their understanding of it and affect how it progresses – both positively and negatively. The technique is applied specifically to the context of audiological and family support practice.

Active Practice group work
Active Practice involves using the skills and techniques focused on in the first day of the course to work with the actor-coaches in small groups to explore different clinical scenarios from real life practice. The sessions allow the participants to take forward the learning from Forum theatre, put it into practice in small group settings and receive feedback and coaching from the actors in their roles as parents and family members. Active practice is always undertaken in a confidential, safe, positive and mutually supportive context.

What do parents say they want?
Outcomes from research with parents and parent-led policy initiatives.

Closing Plenary Session
Looking back and looking forward: implementing effective communication skills in your clinical practice.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, delegates will have:

An understanding of the importance of effective communication with parents / families of early identified deaf children, from an evidence-based prospective.

An understanding of the key elements of effective listening and information sharing in clinical encounters.

An appreciation of how stress and different emotional states impact how people receive and process information.

An understanding of the varied ways in which parents adjust and adapt to their baby’s diagnosis.

Had an opportunity to practice skills hands on, in group settings with professional actors who have over 15 years’ experience in this specific area of work.

Heard the experiences of parents and families of the care pathway, from screening through to audiological management and early intervention.

Developed and practised strategies for effective and responsive communication in challenging situations.

Accommodation and travel

This is a non-residential course; delegates are responsible for booking their own accommodation. Accommodation costs are not included in the course fee.

The course venue is The Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB. This is in central Manchester, 10 mins walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station. Places to stay include Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre, 2 Oxford Road (10 mins walk) and Premier Inn Manchester City Centre Princess Street, 2 Brook Street (5 mins walk).

Car parking is available 5 mins walk from the venue, at Manchester Circle Square NCP Multi-Storey Car Park M1 7ED. The cost is £22.45 for 8-24 hours. This car park is below the Premier Inn Manchester City Centre Hotel; a discounted rate of £10 per 24 hours is available for hotel guests. If travelling to / from Manchester Airport, we recommend the train to Manchester Piccadilly rather than taxi.

The course fee includes lunch and refreshments. Evening meals are not included.

Leaving the course early on the final afternoon is not advised. Train travel from Manchester Piccadilly train station should be booked for no earlier than 5.00pm.

Methods of payment

Purchase order number and invoice address (supplier: Anne Davies Audiology Courses).
Cheque (payable to Anne Davies Audiology Courses).
Credit / debit card. Pay online at time of booking.
Monthly instalments by direct debit (UK customers). Two payments of 50% over two months, or three payments of 33.3% over three months, interest free.

If you are travelling from overseas and require a visa: once you register and pay, we can provide a letter confirming your place on the course. Please contact us to discuss.

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