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Chris Cartwright, Director of Audiology, began his career in 1981 as an NHS student, training in Medical Physics and Physiological measurements. At Cottage Street Hearing Services in Brierley Hill, he trained and further qualified in audiology. He has had an amazing audiology career which is outlined on our ‘Meet the Team’ page.

We wanted to find out more about Chris as a person and so posed a variety of questions to him…

Why are you so passionate about hearing?

Our senses are the gateways to the Brain enabling us to be aware and interact with our environment, and hearing in particular allows us to connect to the world for many vital reasons; especially enabling us to communicate in a way that none of our other senses can achieve. As the famed 20th-century educator Helen Keller said, “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people”. During an 8 year period of my career I specialised in working with congenital Deaf– Blind patients with no speech or sign language which really brought these thoughts into reality. Intervening and supporting patients to make a meaningful difference to the quality of their lives can never be underestimated and has been the driving force behind all that I do.

What is the most satisfying part of your current role?

Sharing and disseminating information has always been a large part of my career; teaching is in my DNA. One aspect which is particularly satisfying is when you can “join the dots” for individuals. People often learn snippets of information in isolation and implement individual aspects rather than being able to see the whole process. The ability to see the bigger picture rather than just the fine detail allows greater freedom to explore new methods and to question why we are doing something.

If you’re interested in getting to know Chris Cartwright, please take a look at his LinkedIn profile and connect

Outside of work, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I’m privileged to have five grandchildren (so far), ranging from 1 to 8 years and all living within easy reach. I’m one of those besotted Grandad’s that love spending time with them, never wanting to give them back and enjoy watching how they develop and experience new things. They set new priorities for me and an opportunity to completely switch off from everything else. Real fun.

What’s your motto in life?

Not so much a motto, and although I’m not religious – the serenity prayer has always resonated with me. Attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, Lutheran theologian (1892–1971);

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

What’s your favourite movie?

I have a number of favourites for different reasons and this may be an unusual choice, but I always think back to an old black & white movie with Burt Lancaster called “The Bird man of Alcatraz”.

Based on a true story of Robert Franklin Stroud who was a convicted murderer, Federal prisoner and has been cited as one of the most notorious criminals in the United States. In 1920, while in solitary confinement Stroud discovered a nest with three injured sparrows in the prison yard. He cared for them and within a few years had acquired a collection of about 300 canaries. He began extensive research into birds after being granted equipment by a prison-reforming warden. Stroud wrote “Diseases of Canaries”, which was smuggled out and published in 1933. He made important contributions to avian pathology, most notably a cure for a family of diseases. He gain much respect and some level of sympathy among ornithologists and farmers. In 1943, he was assessed by a psychiatrist who diagnosed him as a psychopath. He was stripped of his birds and equipment.

We hope you found this insight into Chris helpful!