Bradford’s Listening for Life Centre set to celebrate its 10th anniversary

A BRADFORD hospital centre which helps people achieve the gift of hearing is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The hi-tech £2.8 million Listening for Life Centre, based in the grounds of the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was officially opened on October 15, 2009 by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

It is currently the only centre of its kind in Yorkshire, and one of only a handful throughout the UK to have such up-to-date facilities.

Over the past 10 years it has become the home of cochlear implant technology, which transforms the lives of patients with profound deafness. Prior to the centre opening, the cochlear implant service, established in 1990, had been based within BRI itself .

During cochlear implant surgery, surgeons place electrodes into the cochlea (the sense organ that translates sound into nerve impulses to be sent to the brain) and an electronic device called the receiver under the skin behind the ear, securing it to the skull. The cochlear implants are then able to send a signal to the auditory nerve, giving patients the sensation of sound.

The Listening for Life Centre (home of the Yorkshire Auditory Implants Service) was funded by The Ear Trust, based at BRI, which was set up by surgeon and ear, nose and throat consultant, Professor Chris Raine MBE, after he learned of the benefits that cochlear implants could bring.

Services to the NHS

Prof Raine was awarded his MBE for his services to the NHS and the Ear Trust charity in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Celebrating this very special 10th anniversary year is also the perfect opportunity for the centre to launch its cone beam scanner appeal, and the quest is now on to raise £190,000.

This innovative piece of equipment will be used to scan the ears of implant patients, giving significantly more accurate results than a standard CT scan regarding positioning of the electrodes with the inner ear. Irradiation is also lower.

The anniversary is being marked with an open event to which a number of guests, including The Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Doreen Lee, and patients past and present have been invited. Patients will share their stories and achievements and there will also be tours of the building as well as manufacturer presentations on the latest technology.

Head of Service, Jane Martin, said: “Our anniversary open event will provide an opportunity for staff and patients who have benefited from the encouragement, commitment and dedicated work of the team here in Bradford, to celebrate as well as to say thank you to supporters by showing them what we have achieved at the centre over the past 10 years.”

Prof Raine added: “The last 10 years have seen extraordinary progress and innovation in the amazing, life-changing world of cochlear implants and we have shown that age is really no barrier when it comes to receiving a cochlear implant, which goes to show just how far the service has progressed. The anniversary will be a real day of celebration.”

Facts and figures

  • Since the service’s inception in 1990, more than 1,300 people have received in excess of 2,000 implants at BRI and the Listening for Life Centre
  • Patients now come from across the North of England and as far away as the Isle of Man
  • The service has more than 25 employees including surgeons, audiologists, speech therapists, teachers of the deaf, technicians and interpreters, who are supported by an administration team
  • The youngest child to be implanted was six months old
  • Surgeons made history in 2015 by performing the first cochlear implant under local anaesthetic on a pregnant patient in the UK. As a result patient Kimberly Ward was able to hear her unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time
  • In the same year, the team carried out cochlear implant surgery on the region’s oldest ever patient, who was 93, restoring his hearing after 30 years of profound hearing loss.


Photo: Patient Kimberly Ward with surgeon Prof Chris Raine making history in 2015

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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98 per cent of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

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The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:



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