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Baby hearing programme “made huge impact”

14 September 2007

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The government is celebrating after the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme announced it has tested a total of two million babies across England.

The programme, which has been rolling out since 2001, screens 1,700 babies every day and is said to mark one of the biggest achievements in children’s hearing health in the last 40 years.

More than 3,400 babies have now been diagnosed with permanent hearing impairments or deafness.

The national programme offers parents the opportunity to have their baby screened shortly after birth.

Health Minister Ivan Lewis said: “The programme has made a huge impact with babies being identified with a hearing loss on average one, if not sometimes, two years earlier than before, providing the potential to bring about an incredible change for these children and families. “

Dr Anne Mackie, programmes director of the UK National Screening Committee agreed that the programme is a major achievement, adding: “The Newborn Hearing Screening Programmes sets the standards for others around the world.”

Department of Health

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