child screening programme
Hearing impairment, or deafness, is when hearing is affected by a disease, disorder or injury. Hearing loss can be present at birth or develop in childhood or adulthood.
Read more about hearing impairment on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
Based on the most recent review, screening for this condition is not recommended unless already implemented.
Screening children for hearing problems when they start primary school began in the 1950s, before the implementation of the current newborn hearing screening programme. School age screening continues in many, but not all, parts of the country.
The 2019 review concluded that uncertainties remain on:
- how many children starting school with temporary hearing loss would be identified by a national programme
- the accuracy of screening tests for permanent hearing loss in children starting school
- the advantage to screening children at school entry age
It is not clear whether the best course of action is to discontinue or extend school age screening. The UK NSC therefore recommends screening should continue only where it is already implemented while further research is undertaken to evaluate its effectiveness.
Supporting documents from the 2019 review
Evidence summary Hearing loss in children (2019)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Hearing loss in children (2019)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.
Screening around the UK
The UK NSC recommends screening for this condition, however this may vary slightly depending on where you are in the UK.
Date previous review completed: 2019
Next review estimated to be completed: 2022 to 2023.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Hearing (child)
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Action on Hearing Loss
- British Academy of Audiology
- British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology (BAPA)
- British Society of Audiology
- Communication Trust
- Faculty of Public Health
- Institute of Child Health
- National Deaf Children's Society
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- The British Association of Audiovestibular Physicians