The way we deliver newborn hearing screening is changing

newborn screening

Published: 13 January 2022

The newborn hearing screening programme aims to identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. The programme offers all parents in England the opportunity to have their baby’s hearing tested shortly after birth.

Early identification gives babies a better ‘life chance’ of developing speech and language skills and of making the most of social and emotional interaction from an early age. 

What’s changing? 

Previously newborn hearing screening in the Devon County Council area has been offered to parents as part of the new birth visit with Health Visitors. 

There is no change for families who live in the Torbay Council area.

From April 2022 newborn hearing screening will be offered in the following way;

  • You will be invited to a local community clinic in your area to complete your baby’s newborn hearing screening test.
  • If it is not possible for you to get your baby to the clinic appointment your newborn hearing screening service will discuss the options with you.
  • When babies need to spend 48 hours or longer in the special care baby unit the hearing screening test will be undertaken whilst they are in hospital.

Newborn hearing screening will continue to be delivered to high quality and standards of care by suitably trained staff.

What do I need to do?  

We want to reassure you that you do not need to take any action. 

The newborn hearing screen is automatically arranged for you by your local Newborn Hearing Screening service. The screener will tell you about your baby’s results when the screen is completed and discuss any questions you have. 

If you have any further questions or concerns you can discuss them with your midwife at your regular appointments or contact the newborn Hearing Screening team on 01803 655071 or further information on newborn hearing screening tests can be found on the NHS website.