The NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) has made a difference to so many children and their families and reaching the five million milestone is a significant achievement. Of the five million babies screened since the beginning of the programme in 2001, nearly nine thousand children have been identified early.
More than 95% of babies that are referred from the screening programme have been identified by the time they are five weeks old. Early support is vital given that around 90% of these babies are born into families with no experience, or history, of childhood deafness.
The programme contributes to the best start in life for children screened and identified early. It has also been a catalyst for improvements in services delivered to these families. Deafness, no longer presents the barrier it did as those children identified early now have better life opportunities.
Here are some key facts about NHSP:
Million babies screened
Number of weeks within which babies will be referred to audiology, if required
Babies with permanent childhood hearing impairment found every day
Percentage of babies referred from the screen for audiological assessment
World class screening programme
Newborn hearing screening of the 5 millionth baby on Tuesday 15 May 2012 at St Mary's Hospital Manchester.
5 millionth newborn hearing screened baby, Ella May, with her mum Natalie.
Watch the video of Ella May below.
Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, has congratulated the programme and said: "Thanks to the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, babies born with a hearing impairment can now be identified much earlier. This allows babies with hearing problems to receive the support they need earlier to give them the best possible start in life."
BBC Breakfast Interview 16/05/2012
5 minute video of interview on BBC Breakfast, 16/05/2012
The press release about the 5 millionth baby, with quotes from Prof Adrian Davis (NHSP Director), Andrew Lansley (Secretary of Health for Health), Susan Daniels (NDCS Director) and Karen Taylor (President of BATOD).