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NHS To Screen Newborn Babies For Hearing Impairment

The NHS is proposing to screen 1,600 babies each day for hearing tests so that all parents in England can have their doubts cleared away. The NHS New-born Hearing Screening // Programme will screen for hearing defects that might have been missed at birth.

"Over 1,000 babies are born each year in England with deafness or hearing loss in one, or both, ears," said Professor Adrian Davis, director of the screening programme. "It is essential, therefore, that this is identified early. The programme does just that, enabling parents to access the appropriate support for their babies as quickly as possible." Professor Al Aynsley-Green, Children's Commissioner for England agreed with this assessment and said children must be given every chance to blossom, "The newborn hearing screening programme will help to achieve this by giving hundreds of babies born with hearing impairment and deafness the opportunity to develop communication skills and bond with their parents from an early age." Angela King, a senior audiology specialist for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf said that the new test was a welcome step, "If your baby is deaf, it's important to know as soon as possible so that you can give them the best possible chance to develop language and communication skills and be fully involved in everything around them."

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