People with learning disabilities are at increased risk of impaired hearing. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of hearing impairment and ear disease in people attending the specialist Otolaryngology/Hearing Therapy clinic at the Phoenix NHS Trust, Bristol. The present and future process of such a service was explored. Data were obtained from the referral form and notes made by the consultant otolaryngologist. In 20 months, there were 226 consultations, 188 of which were new referrals. The majority of patients had verbal communication to some extent. Suspected infection/inflammation and unobtainable/abnormal tympanograms, each accounted for 43 per cent of reasons for referral. Twenty per cent of patients were normal otologically. Eighteen per cent were provided with hearing aids and nine per cent required surgery. Ten patients underwent brainstem evoked response testing, half of whom had aidable hearing. Our results are comparable to published data of similar units. It is recommended that combined otolaryngology/specialist hearing therapy services are continued and further developed.