Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Crown Yealm House, Pathfields Business Park, South Molton Devon EX36 3LH 01769 575 109 VCL.hearingscreening@nhs.net

Welcome to Devon Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.

We provide early identification of your baby’s hearing to give them better ‘life chances’ of developing speech and language skills and making the most of social and emotional interaction from an early age.

More about us

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) ensures all parents are offered hearing screening for their new child within the first few weeks of life. It is a core service within the NHS in England and part of the family of Antenatal & Newborn Screening Programmes. It aims to identify unilateral or bilateral moderate to profound permanent childhood hearing impairment within five to six weeks of birth.

We work in partnership with local audiology services, GP’s, sensory support teams and social services to complete the hearing screening care pathway for babies.

Our site is a community model which means the health visitor or team member will visit you and screen the baby at home. If you need further follow ups, this will be offered within the outpatient setting.

Please note, do not visit the service address provided on this page as all services are provided in community settings, usually within your own home. 

If you wish to find out opening times or any further information, please contact the numbers provided on this page to be redirected to the appropriate service, thank you.

Devon Children’s Services website

For more information, advice and toolkits please visit our website

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the Government’s health watchdog, responsible for ensuring that healthcare services registered with it provide high quality care that is safe, effective and compassionate. The CQC inspected our service in June 2017 and rated it as ‘good’. View CQC report.

What happens during my baby’s appointment?

A small soft tipped earpiece is placed in the outer part of your baby’s ear which sends clicking sounds into the ear. When an ear receives the sound, the inner part, known as the ‘cochlea’ usually produces an echo. The screening equipment can pick up this response. This is called an Automated Otoacoustic Emission (AOAE) screening test.

How long will it take for my baby to be seen?

As soon as your health visitor contacts us we will ensure that we see your baby as soon as possible. While we can’t be specific in this guide, we will contact you to discuss when we can see your baby.

How long will my baby’s appointment take?

The initial screen at home will take about 15 minutes but the new birth visit may be considerably longer. The follow up screens will take about 30 minutes but this depends on your baby’s requirements.

How do I cancel or change my baby’s appointment?

If you and your baby cannot make the appointment, please contact us as soon as you can. This will enable us to use the time to arrange an appointment for another baby.

How do I refer into the service?

The service is performed by the health visitor so no referral is needed .If any professional needs to refer a baby after the screening they will contact the children’s audiology service at the hospital nearest to them.

How do I find out test results?

The results of the screen are given to you immediately but if you need further explanations you can always phone on the above numbers for additional details.

How does the service work?

We work closely with health visitors in the community and staff from local hospitals to offer hearing screening to all babies for whom we are responsible.

Most babies will be offered hearing screening at home by their health visitors while a smaller number of babies who spend more than 48 hours in the neonatal unit or special care baby unit will be offered the screening while still in the hospital.

Your baby’s records

We record all the information about your baby confidentially on our clinical system.

Click here to get more information about how we use health records.

Our commitment to you and your baby

Virgin Care takes you and your baby’s dignity and privacy very seriously and we will at all times respect your confidentiality.

Please treat our staff with respect so we can provide you with the very best care we can. Click here to find out more about your rights and responsibilities.

Your opinion really matters to us

Please let us know if you have a comment, a compliment or a complaint by filling out one of our feedback forms that can be found within all of our service locations or telling a member of the team.

Alternatively, if you would like to make an official complaint you can find out more from our How to make a complaint section by clicking here.

Find out more

I was treated with great care and understanding. The care I received was second to none; everyone was so lovely.

Sapphire Ward, Gravesham Hospital