Readiness of paediatric audiology services for newborn hearing screening: findings and implications from the programme in England

Kai Uus, John Bamford, Alys Young, Wendy McCracken
International Journal of Audiology 2005, 44 (12): 712-20
As well as evaluating the newborn hearing screen itself, the government-funded evaluation of the implementation of a Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) in England is assessing the impact of the screen on follow-up services. In the UK context, these are principally paediatric audiology, education, and social services. This article presents results from a mixed method research study involving paediatric audiology services specifically. Results demonstrate significant variety in current practice with regard to routine tests and procedures, considerable variability in number of current referrals and time allocated to caseloads, and considerable variability in expectations of how the numbers will change following newborn screening implementation. The challenges of and opportunities afforded by NHSP which were identified by respondents, highlight the urgent need for further training. The study has implications for paediatric audiology services that are yet to start NHSP in the UK, as well as for services and professionals in other countries.


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