Newborn Hearing Screening Programme


The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) aims to identify moderate, severe and profound hearing impairment in newborn babies. Change impairment to loss the programme automatically offers all parents, in England, the opportunity to have their baby's hearing screened shortly after birth. One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. The hearing screen will allow those babies who do have a hearing loss to be identified early. Early identification, via the programme, 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.


The Newborn Hearing Screening Team is located on Antenatal clinic

The team works seven days a week between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.

Contact telephone number -  01283 511511 ext: 4225


Outpatient clinics are carried out at the following locations;

  • Children’s Clinic, Queen’s Hospital, Burton Upon Trent
  • Antenatal Clinic, Queens Hospital, Burton upon Trent
  • Sir Robert Peel Hospital, Tamworth
  • Maternity Dept, Samuel Johnson Community Hospital, Lichfield


About our Service 

Your baby will be offered a series of routine health checks in the first few weeks of life. This will include a hearing screen. One to two babies in every 1000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. It is not easy to identify that a young baby has a hearing loss. The hearing screen will allow those babies who do have a hearing loss to be identified early. Early identification is known to be important for the development of the child. It also means that support and information can be provided to parents at an early stage. It is important to screen all babies, even if no-one in your family has a hearing loss. Most babies born with a hearing loss are born into families with no history of hearing loss.

The Newborn Hearing Screening Team works closely with the maternity and neonatal intensive care unit. The majority of babies will have their hearing screen completed before they leave hospital, however if this is not possible, an outpatient appointment will be offered at one of the locations listed above.

What does the newborn hearing screen involve?

A trained hearing screener carries out the hearing screen. They place a small soft tipped earpiece in the outer part of your baby's ear which sends clicking sounds down the ear. When an ear receives sound, the inner part, known as the cochlea, usually produces an echo. The screening equipment can pick up a response. This type of screen is called an Automated Otoacoustic Emission (AOAE) screen. The AOAE only takes a few minutes and does not hurt your baby. The hearing screen will usually be done while your baby is asleep or settled.  You can stay with your baby while the hearing screen is carried out.

When will I get the results of the hearing screen and what do they mean?

The results will be given to you as soon as the hearing screen has been completed. If you have any concerns or questions about your baby's results, the hearing screener will be able to answer them for you, or if you have gone home please contact the hospital where the hearing screen was done

Why does my baby need a second hearing screen and what does it involve?

Many babies need to have a second hearing screen if a clear response is not obtained from the first stage of screening. This doesn't necessarily mean that your baby has a hearing loss.  Some common reasons, other than hearing loss, for having a second hearing screen are:

  • Your baby may have been unsettled at the time of screening.
  • There may have been background noise when the hearing screen was carried out.
  • Your baby may have fluid or a temporary blockage in their ear after the birth. This is very common and will pass with time.

Will the hearing screen be uncomfortable for my baby?

The hearing screen does not hurt and is not uncomfortable for your baby.

The hearing screen is easier to carry out if your baby is asleep. Don't worry if your baby will not settle. Your hearing screener will understand that it is difficult to get a young baby to sleep. The following may help your baby to settle during the screen:

  • If possible, feed your baby shortly before the hearing screen.
  • Ensure you have the things you may need to make your baby comfortable and happy.

Why has my baby been referred for an appointment at the local audiology clinic?

If the second hearing screen does not show a clear response from one or both of your baby’s ears you will be referred to your local audiology department. The Audiologist will carry out tests to measure your baby’s hearing and provide you with further information about your baby’s hearing.

For further information on Newborn Hearing Screening, please visit the website of the National programme at the following web address;

  • GEM Going that extra mile
  • Top 40 Hospital Winner
  • NHS Choices
  • Urdu Polski
  • Burton Clinic