NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme: Information sheet for parent...

If you have difficulty reading or writing, please follow this link for easy read guides to screening: Screening tests for you and your baby: easy guides - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) .


New Born Infant Physical Examination (NIPE)

Within 72 hours of birth, your baby will be offered a full physical examination. This will include four specific checks:

  • Eyes – to check for cataracts
  • Heart – to check for murmurs
  • Hips – to ensure the hip joints are correctly formed
  • Testes (boys) – to check that both testes are in the scrotum

Prompt detection of any issues ensures early and appropriate treatment. This test will be carried out by a trained Midwife or Paediatrician.  

New Born Hearing Screening

All babies are offered a hearing test. 1–2 babies in every 1000 births are born with hearing loss. Most often this occurs when there is no family history of such issues. Early detection means that the correct support and treatment can begin.

This test is performed either before your discharge home or at a local clinic within the first 4 weeks of life.  

To contact the hearing screening team, please call 01322 319124 (everyday 08.00- 15.30) or email kentchft.newbornhearingdvh@nhs.net

New Born Bloodspot Screening (NBS)

Newborn blood spot test - NHS

On day 5 after birth, your baby will be offered a heel prick blood test by your Midwife. Drops of your baby’ blood is collected onto a card which is sent off for analysis. 

The test checks for 9 rare but serious conditions which include:

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

This is an inherited blood disease affecting how our body transport oxygen and iron.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

This is an inherited condition affecting the lungs and digestive system.

Congenital Hypothyroidism (CHT)

This occurs when the body does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine causing both physical and mental complications if not treated.

Inherited Metabolic Diseases (IMD)

Your baby will be tested for six inherited metabolic conditions that prevent the body being able to tolerate certain food substances requiring special diets and medicines.

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)

The NHS is considering introducing screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). SCID makes it very hard to fight off infections like pneumonia and meningitis. Screening would help to find and treat babies with this condition earlier.


Darent Valley Hospital currently offer this test.  It is tested from the same blood sample taken for newborn screening.  More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scid-screening-helping-you-decide-if-you-want-this-for-your-baby/scid-screening-helping-you-decide.

Parents are asked for verbal consent for NBS screening. They can decline for SCD, CF and CHT individually but they can only decline the 6 IMDs as a group. 

The Screening Team at Darent Valley Hospital is available to help and support you throughout any of the screening tests that you or your baby have.  

For any queries please contact us on 01322 428185, or email dgn-tr.annb@nhs.net.