Universal New Born Hearing Screening
NHS Lanarkshire has introduced the Universal New Born Hearing Screening (UNHS) test to pick up serious hearing problems in new born babies as early as a few days old.
The test is quick and simple and can be carried out in the maternity unit shortly after birth. Around six to eight babies are born with significant hearing loss in Lanarkshire each year.
It is also available at a number of community clinics throughout Lanarkshire for babies who were discharged very quickly from hospital or born at home.
As it is a national programme, the test will be offered before leaving hospital even if your baby is born in one of the Glasgow hospitals or in hospitals in other areas around the country.
The test will gradually replace the health visitor hearing test (sometimes called the health visitor distraction test), which is carried out at around seven or eight months of age. The new test is more accurate and allows the detection of hearing problems much earlier in a child’s life, allowing specialists in speech and language and hearing to support babies and their families right away, improving the development of affected youngsters.
The UNHS test will only detect hearing problems that babies are born with and hearing problems can still develop later in a child’s life. However, parents are given a list of signs to check for as their baby gets older, allowing them to monitor their baby’s hearing and raise any concerns with their health visitor or GP.
Around six to eight babies are born with significant hearing loss in Lanarkshire each year.