Newborn screening tests

Screening tests for your baby are used to find people at higher chance of a health condition.

This means they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment, or make informed decisions about their health.

A baby's feet held in an adult's hands

It can be helpful to imagine screening like putting people through a sieve. Most people pass straight through but a small number get caught in the sieve.

The people caught in the sieve are those considered to have a higher chance of having the health condition being screened for. 

Newborn physical examination

The newborn ‘top to toe’ examination will be performed by a midwife or doctor within 72hrs of your baby’s birth, then again by your GP when baby is 6-8 weeks old. See the video below to find out more about what to expect at the examination.

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Hearing screening

Our hearing screening coordinators will see your baby either on the postnatal ward if you are to be an inpatient, or you will be offered an appointment to return at a later stage if you go home after the birth of your baby.

Not all babies get a clear response straight away, this is very common and you will be invited back again to re test at a later stage. 

The video below explains more about what to expect at your appointment.

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Newborn blood spot

Often referred to as the ‘heel prick test’ we aim to complete the newborn blood spot test on day 5 of your baby’s life. Watch the video for more information about this test.

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Further information

Easy read versions of the information on is available.

Additional information is also available for parents of babies who are in a special care baby unit, neonatal intensive care unit or paediatric intensive care unit.

The information is available in 12 other languages: ArabicBengaliChineseFrenchLatvianLithuanianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianSomali and Urdu.

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