Support for deaf children aged 0 to 5 years: Guide

Hitchins, A. Lewis, S. Holmans, A. Grover, A. Wakefield, T. Cormier, K. Rowley, K. Macsweeney, M. | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Newborn Hearing Screening Programme

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) in the UK was introduced first in England from 2001, extending to Scotland in 2003, Wales in 2004 and Northern Ireland in 2005.  This roll out was based on the premise that outcomes for deaf children could be improved by early identification of hearing loss and effective, early intervention9,10.  In 2013, a performance report on the first seven years of the programme was published.  This illustrated that the NHSP had improved continuously, identifying bilateral permanent childhood Hearing Loss (PCHL) in about 1/1000 children. The report also showed that the age of identification and management was well within the first six months of life.  However, there remained scope for further improvement with respect initiating entry into follow up.

NHS screening programmes: KPI reports 2021 to 2022

Annual statistical reports are published for Wales.

All children have the right to develop language and communication so that they can achieve their potential in life. Access to the language and communication environment is key to this development. For children who are born deaf, especially into hearing families with no experience of hearing loss, skilled and sensitive early support is vital if they are to develop the language and communication skills they need to be ready to start school alongside their hearing peers.  

Early and effective support should be available for all deaf children whether their families choose to communicate with spoken language, sign language or both.