Newborn hearing.jpgThe NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) offers new parents the opportunity to have their baby’s hearing screened within the first few weeks of life. It is an NHS England commissioned service that is part of the Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes.

Here at Leighton hospital the programme has been available since 2004. The NHSP team operate on ward 23 at Leighton hospital. A hearing screen or screening pathway is also available for babies in the Special care baby unit.

An Outpatient appointment will be made for babies who are discharged home before the screen has been carried out. This also includes babies born at home and babies born in other hospitals living in the area.


The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) aims to identify permanent moderate, severe and profound deafness and hearing impairment in Newborn babies. Permanent hearing loss can significantly affect babies’ development, and many are born into families with no family history.

1 to 2 babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in 1 or both ears. This increases to 1 in every 100 babies who have spent more than 48 hours in intensive care. Early identification gives babies a better ‘life chance’ of developing speech and language skills and of making the most of social and emotional relationships with their parents/carers from an early age. This also means parents/carers can get the support and advice they need right from the start.

The NHSP works within a multi-disciplinary team to ensure the best and safest outcome for babies and their families. The team includes Paediatric Audiology, NHS England ANNB Screening programme, Midwives, Health Visitors, GP’s, Paediatric Nursing, Doctors and Social Services.

The diagnostic referral pathway from NHSP is Paediatric Audiology.

  • Jane Leggett -Newborn Hearing Manager
  • Mary Banton – NHSP Team Leader
  • Shirley Lamens - Screening Technician
  • Christine Brierley - Screening Technician
  • Amanda Barker - Screening Technician
  • Hayley Buckley – Screening Technician
  • Louisa McCafferty – Assistant Personal Assistant

For further information regarding the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, please visit: Newborn hearing screening - NHS (