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UK Audiologist of the Year 2008 Announced

It has been a nine-month search that has attracted hundreds of entries from across the country but, at last, a worthy winner has been found.

Lisa Binns-Smith, has been crowned the first Rayovac Audio Infos UK Audiologist of the Year* after being successfully nominated for the award by her patients. A panel of judges, made up of both independent experts and Rayovac and Audio Infos professionals in the UK, named Lisa as the inaugural

  Audiologist of the Year 2008: Lisa Binns-Smith

winner after whittling down the entries from hundreds of exceptional nominations from all areas of the country. Unlike other industry honours, the new award was not nominated by fellow professionals. Instead, Rayovac and Audio Infos asked patients to put forward their own audiologist or hearing dispenser who they felt had gone the extra mile to provide them with an outstanding service.


Dedicated to patients

With some excellent entries, picking the winner was never going to be an easy task but  the judging panel was hugely impressed by Lisa’ s dedication to her patients’ needs. That was evident from the winning entry – from patient Dawn King – which illustrated how Lisa had provided invaluable support when she needed bi-lateral hearing aids fitting:


"I was fitted with bi-lateral hearing aids and amplified stethoscope in December 2007.After going to numerous audiologists Lisa was the only one who offered to help with my unique needs.

I was starting a Nurse Practitioner course and needed aids that I could use with a stethoscope /meetings/looped. Lisa spent over 20 appointments shutting Lisa's practice one afternoon. With help from collegues and hearing reps trying to connect the hearing aids to the stethoscope. Lisa changed my life and countless others. I qualified at Masters level and now help patients with all conditions I can listen to heart/lung and bowel sounds, I run consultations and attend meetings.

My family life has improved I can hear the family and the Ice cream van! Without Lisa I dont know what I would have done .I am only 44 years old and with Lisa’s support I have a great life and can improve my patients life. " - Dawn King

  Lisa Binns-Smith: Audiologist of the Year 2008 Nominated by Dawn King

Lisa said, “It’ s a real honour to be named Audiologist of the Year. There are many excellent hearing professionals operating in the UK so the competition is very strong. It is nice to be recognised and appreciated in this way, particularly as it is voted for by patients. Being able to help people with their hearing is a very rewarding job. Knowing that they appreciate and respect the work that you do means it’s even more worthwhile. It is good to know that in the case of Dawn, it has made such a big difference to her life. I’m going to enjoy being able to call myself Audiologist of the Year for the next 12 months.”


"The standard of service is very high and patients appreciate this."

Lisa is no stranger to winning. Prior to joining her father, Eddie Binns, as a registered hearing aid dispenser, Lisa spent several years working in her local NHS Audiology Department. In 1997, she was awarded “Student of the Year for the North West” from the British Association of Audiology Technicians (BAAT) whilst studying for her BAAT I and II exams. As a reward for winning UK Audiologist of the Year 2008, Lisa received a €1000 prize, along with a signed, framed certificate and a trophy. She was also put forward as the UK nomination for the European Audiologist of the Year award.


Eddie Binns and Lisa Binns-Smith
A proud father Eddie Binns with his daughter Lisa.

Recognising Excellence

The hearing aid battery manufacturer Rayovac, teamed up with Audio Infos to host the competition to recognise the difference good hearing care makes to patients’ lives. The aim is to reward and recognise hearing professionals who go beyond the call of duty or may have helped in unusual circumstances.

Paula Brinson-Pyke, marketing manager at Rayovac, said, “Audiologist of the Year has been a big success. It is clear from the number of entries we have received that there are many talented audiologists practising in the UK. We did not simply want a traditional-style industry award. We wanted to find out what patients value about their audiologists. The overwhelming conclusion is that the standard of service is very high and patients appreciate this. Many of the comments show that the bonds between audiologist and patient are incredibly strong. Picking a winner from so many excellent entries was incredibly difficult. Congratulations must go to Lisa for winning and Dawn for nominating.

Victoria Adshead, Chief Editor at Audio Infos UK said, “Good hearing care can make a massive difference to people’s lives. Audiologists play a central role in the lives of their patients and these awards are about recognising that.We would like to congratulate Lisa on her success, as well as the other audiologists who were nominated. What made the competition extra special was being able to read the comments of so many appreciative patients. It is a great idea and we look forward to working with Rayovac again. For Lisa it is a real honour to pick up the award and the kudos that goes with it will be great for her business. We’ve found a worthy winner.”

Paula Brinson-Pyke added, “This is the first year that the competition has been held and we are delighted with the support we’ve received. We look forward to continuing and developing the competition in the next few years.” Daniel Bailly, Director of Audio Infos said, “This is a new and exciting competition that’ s caught the imagination of audiologists and patients across Europe. We are looking forward to working with Rayovac to make next year’ s competition an even greater success.”

Victoria Adshead

*The winner is selected from the participants of the Rayovac/Audio Infos contest and neither Rayovac nor the winner claims to be the best hearing care professional of all, judged by objective professional criteria.


Independent Judge

Paula Brinson Pyke and Simon Farthing
Paula Brinson Pyke and Simon Farthing of Rayovac with hundreds of entries for the competition.


As well as representatives from Rayovac and Audio Infos UK, an independent judge scrutinised the nominations. The independent judge in the UK was Tom Davidson, Senior Chief Audiologist at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital. Tom is well known in both the NHS Community and amongst Independent Hearing Aid Dispensers. Tom and his team provide a comprehensive Audiology and Hearing Aid Service for the whole of North Tyneside and Northumberland. The Freeman Hospital has the largest centre for Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) in the UK and is one of only five centres in the country providing symphonix implants - specialist hearing devices implanted in the middle ear. They are also the only NHS hospital currently offering Retro-X implant surgery. Tom spoke to independent dispensers at an AIHHP conference this year specifically about the BAHA centre. Tom’s Audiology team won the runners up award in the "Improving Access Award" at the North East Health & Social Care Awards earlier this year. This was in recognition of their dedication and commitment to making sure that their patients requiring a digital hearing aid could be seen as quickly as possible. They had worked over and above their normal duties to reduce drastically waiting times for re-assessment, from over 102 weeks in January 2007 to just 6 weeks in April 2008.


Tom Davison
Tom Davison, Senior Chief Audiologist at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle and independent judge for the competition.


"I'm going to enjoy being able to call myself Audiologist of the Year." - Lisa Binns-Smith

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Audiologist of the Year 2008! - Lisa Binns-Smith