In the last 10 years more than 24,000 babies in the Barnsley area have had their hearing screened thanks to the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme available at Barnsley Hospital.
Introduced to the hospital in April 2002 – before being rolled out nationally in 2006, the programme identifies moderate, severe and profound deafness and hearing impairment in newborn babies.
The hospital’s four strong team of hearing screeners work seven days a week to offer all parents the opportunity to have their baby’s hearing tested shortly after birth – more than 80% of the babies are screened before they are discharged from hospital and 98.5% within 4 weeks of being born.
Linda Abbot, manager of the screening programme said: “The hearing test is quick and easy and isn’t uncomfortable to babies – in fact it is often easier to do it when the baby is asleep.
“In Barnsley the test has helped to identify a permanent hearing impairment for more than 80 babies who then go on to receive care and support from a range of services such as paediatric audiology and education services who ensure development is supported from the earliest age possible.
“All the teams involved in the programme in Barnsley work extremely hard to ensure all eligible babies are screened as soon as possible and I would like to thank midwives and health visitors as without their help and support over the years this could not have been achieved.”
Further information can be found on the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme website – http://hearing.screening.nhs.uk