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New Born Hearing Screening Programme

Newborn hearing screening logo

The new born hearing screening programme helps identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. This means parents can get the support and advice they need right from the start. One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. This increases to about 1 in every 100 babies who have spent more than 48 hours in intensive care. Most of these babies are born into families with no history of permanent hearing loss.

Permanent hearing loss can significantly affect babies’ development. Finding out early can give these babies a better chance of developing language, speech, and communication skills. It’ll also help them make the most of relationships with their family or carers from an early age.

  • Our service

    The hearing screen uses a quick simple test(s) to check the hearing of all new born babies. If you give birth in hospital, you may be offered a new born hearing test for your baby before you are discharged, otherwise it will be done by one of the New born Hearing Screeners within the first few weeks.

    You will be contacted by our new born hearing screening service to arrange a suitable time and venue. Ideally, the test is done in the first 4 weeks, but it can be done at up to 6 months of age.

    If your baby has not had their hearing screened, and you haven’t been offered a screening test, ask your health visitor or contact your local new born hearing screening service to have an appointment arranged.

    For further information please contact your local New Born Hearing Screening Programme or alternatively you can find all of the New born Hearing Screening (English and translations) leaflets here.

  • Attending Outpatient Clinic Advice
    Before you attend clinic:

    Please take your baby’s Redbook (Personal Child Health Record) with you to your appointment and your Yellow Maternity Notes (if you still have them).

    Please allow up to 30mins before your appointment to park your car.

    To help protect our staff and other service users, please contact us if you or a member of your household have:

    • A new continuous cough OR
    • A high temperature (of 37.8oC or higher) OR
    • A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.
    • Have you been a close contact of a positive case within the past 10 days?
    • Are you or any member of your household/ family waiting for a COVID-19 test result?
    • Have you had any travel to any country outside NI in the previous 10 days?
    At the Outpatient Clinic
    • Please attend outpatient appointments alone with your baby or with one other person if necessary.
    • To maintain social distancing please only enter the outpatient building at the time of your appointment
    • Please use the alcohol gel at the entrance of the clinic to disinfect your hands before taking a seat.
    • Seats are marked out to allow you and your baby to maintain the recommended social distancing if you need to wait.
    Leaving the Clinic
    • Please take all your belongings with you.
    • Please use the alcohol gel at the entrance of the door before leaving

    If you need to contact the clinic for advice or if you need to cancel your appointment please call: 02871611452

    Thank you again for your understanding and we look forward to meeting you and your baby.

  • Important Consent Information before attending you Baby's Outpatient Appointment

    You will have received the NHSP leaflet which provides you with additional information regarding the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.

    Consent to participate in newborn hearing screening must be provided by a person with parental responsibility.

    As detailed in your baby’s Personal Child Health Record (or ‘red book’), those who have parental responsibility are:

    • A child’s BIRTH mother;
    • A child’s father
      • If he was married to the child’s mother at any time in the period beginning with the conception and ending with the birth of the child
      • he later married the child’s mother
      • he has obtained an authorisation from the court confirming parental responsibility
      • he is unmarried but his name is on the child’s birth certificate following 15th April 2002
    • A child’s legally adoptive parents;
    • A Senior Manager for Family & Child Care Service if the child is the subject of a legal Care Order granted to the Health and Social Care Trust
    • A person who has obtained a Parental Responsibility Agreement through a Court Order, for example, a Residence Order or Guardianship Order
    • A Civil Partner may have Parental Responsibility (the law is complex in relation to this and legal advice should be sought if uncertain)
    • Parents do not lose Parental Responsibility if they divorce
    • Step parents or grandparents do not have Parental Responsibility unless this has been granted to them by the Courts
    • Foster carers may sign consent forms if they have been granted delegated responsibility by the Health and Social Care Trust

    It is recommended that the person with parental responsibility should attend with their baby for the screening test. If this is not possible, the person with parental responsibility (as outlined above) must confirm their consent, for their baby to participate in newborn hearing screening, prior to attending for the screening test, by telephoning the newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) office on: 02871611452 or 02866382082.

  • Hours of Operation
    DayAltnagelvin HospitalSouth West Acute Hospital
    Monday8.00am -2.30pm8.00am -1.00pm
    Tuesday8.00am -2.30pm8.00am -1.00pm
    Wednesday8.00am -2.30pm8.00am -1.00pm
    Thursday8.00am -2.30pm8.00am -1.00pm
    Friday8.00am -2.30pm8.00am -1.00pm
    Saturday8.00am -1.15pm8.00am -12.00pm
    Sunday8.00am -12.30pm8.00am -11.30am
  • Getting to Clinic

    Download and print our guides on how to get to your clinic appoitnment

    Getting to Altnagelvin Hospital

    Getting to South West Acute Hospital

  • Further Resources


Altnagelvin Hospital New Born Hearing Screening Programme

Ward 46, Postnatal Ward
Altnagelvin Hospital
Glenshane Road
BT47 6SB

Call us02871611452

South West Acute Hospital New Born Hearing Screening Programme

Maternity Ward
South West Acute Hospital
124 Irvinestown Road
BT74 6DN

Call us02866382082