We offer a full diagnostic and rehabilitative paediatric auditory (hearing) service including:
- Diagnostic follow up of referrals from Newborn Hearing screening
- Specialist hearing tests
- Hearing aid service (fitting, ongoing maintenance, battery supplies and upgrades as necessary)
- Audiological assessment and management of children with complex needs
The department uses a multidisciplinary approach and has strong links with Educational audiology services, speech and language therapy, sensory support and ENT.
To visit our main audiology page click here.
Newborn Hearing Screening
In Northern Ireland the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) was launched in October 2005. Hearing screening is offered to all babies, who are born in or resident in Northern Ireland up to the age of 6 months. The test is not compulsory. 1-2 babies in every 1000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. Research studies have demonstrated the importance of detecting a hearing loss as early as possible. The aim of the NHSP is to identify babies who have a significant permanent childhood hearing loss at the earliest stage, ideally within 4 weeks of birth. This allows timely referral, diagnosis and intervention.
The programme is commissioned and quality assured by the Public Health Agency along with the five Health and Social Care Trusts who manage and deliver the programme.
In South Eastern H&SC Trust it involves a newborn hearing screening coordinator, specially trained hearing screeners and includes a wide range of professional staff: midwives, neonatal and special care baby unit staff, hospital and community audiology, health visitors and ear nose and throat specialist staff.
Offer of screening
All resident babies (including those born in or moved into Northern Ireland) are offered screening from over 34 weeks gestational age up until the age of 6 months.
Screening protocols and tests
A baby’s screening test is often carried out before discharge from hospital but can also be carried out at an outpatient clinic. It is aimed to completed before 4 weeks of age.
Screening results will be recorded in your child’s Parent and Child Handheld Record (PCHR or Red book), please bring this record book to any appointments.
The newborn hearing screening continues to operate as normal during the pandemic as an identified essential service. Outpatients services are by appointment only.
New Developments in newborn hearing
Procurement of a regional information technology (IT) service to support screening has recently taken place. This is Smart4Hearing to enhance current data processing, quality assure the programme and reduces the need for manual entry of screening data.
This will be launched later in 2020.
Depending on the results of the screening tests, a child may require referral for further specialist assessment by audiology paediatric services. This is to confirm a diagnosis and allow timely follow up and treatment if required.
Find out more about new born screening here.
For translations click here.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s hearing speak to your GP or Health visitor who can refer you directly to audiology services. Referrals are also accepted from Community paediatrics, Speech and language therapy and the school nursing service. Waiting lists and waiting times can vary widely.
How to find us
You may be offered an appointment at any of our sites so be sure to confirm which site your appointment is at. This can be found on your appointment letter. If you do not have a letter and are unsure which site your appointment is on, please contact us – (028) 9056 1307
- Ulster Hospital
- Downe Hospital
Patients who are unable to attend the department due to health and mobility reasons, can contact the GP who can arrange ambulance transport. If a patient is bedbound and not able to use this facility, the GP can make a referral for a home visit.
If you require an interpreter please contact our department and include the following details:
- Language (specify region if applicable)
- Sign language (specify BSL/ISL)
If you would prefer to use a specific interpreter for continuity please let us know, whilst we will endeavor to meet your request this may not always be possible.
National Deaf Children’s Society https://www.ndcs.org.uk
Education authority http://www.eani.org.uk/services/pupil-support-services/sensory-service
Action Deaf Youth https://actiondeafyouth.co.uk
British Deaf Association https://bda.org.uk