The NHS newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) in England helps to identify about 27 babies a week who are born with a permanent moderate, severe and profound deafness and hearing impairment. We know that finding out early can give these babies a better chance of developing language, speech, and communication skills. The NHS NHSP offers screening to all babies, ideally within the first 4 to 5 weeks after they are born.
Over the past year, the PHE newborn hearing screening team and colleagues and the clinical advisor working group have been carrying out a major review of the 2018 NHSP standards, which help monitor the quality of newborn hearing screening across the country.
We hosted a public consultation, which ran from 27 May to 24 June 2021.
We have reviewed and analysed the consultation responses and produced a summary of the responses received, as well as a data report to provide evidence for the proposed changes in response to comments received.
The revised standards and supporting information will be published in December 2021, ready to be implemented from April 2022.
We want to share some learning points from the consultation process, including that next time, we will:
- share the data report at the time of the consultation so responders have access to information that supported the review which would potentially reduce the number of comments received
- acknowledge that a screening inequalities assessment was completed prior to the consultation process
- direct responders to the process for reviewing standards on GOV.UK at the time of the consultation by including a link in the blog
- consider using a different IT platform for the external consultation due to issues experienced using SelectSurvey
Please share this blog post with colleagues who are involved in the NHSP pathways.
PHE Screening blog
The PHE Screening blog provides up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.