newborn 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 and deafness on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
The UK NSC recommends screening for permanent hearing impairment in newborns. This is based on the 1997 HTA review into the role of neonatal hearing screening in the detection of congenital hearing impairment. This report showed that:
- without systematic hearing screening, 400 of the 840 babies born in the UK each year with significant permanent hearing impairment were missed
- hearing impaired children are at high risk of delayed development of language and communication skills, which can affect their educational achievement, mental health and quality of life
- there is no evidence of undue parental anxiety caused by very early identification of hearing impairment
Supporting documents from the 2020 review
UK NSC ANSD screening FINAL VERSION November 2020
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
UK NSC Cover Sheet ANSD 2020 10 28 REDACTED
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: 2020
Next review estimated to be completed: 2023 to 2024.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Hearing (newborn)
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 Perinatal Medicine
- 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 Midwives
- 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