Newborn Hearing Screening

March 27, 2009

Taranaki babies will soon be offered hearing screening tests within their first month of life.

The tests are part of the new Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention programme, and will start in Taranaki on 1 April.

Most Taranaki babies will receive the test before they leave hospital. Outpatient clinics will be provided in North, Central and South Taranaki to ensure babies who are not seen in hospital and or born at home are offered the screening.

Newly-appointed screeners Melissa Fisher and Toni Watson will operate the programme at Taranaki Base Hospital’s Maternity Unit. Midwife Bernadette Winks will provide a screening service at Hawera Hospital.
Allied Health Coordinator Mary Bird says the nationally-trained screeners will carry out hearing screening tests using new equipment bought for the programme. “An important part of their role will be to ensure that babies identified with a potential moderate to severe hearing loss are followed up appropriately.”

Early referral to audiology services and to medical specialities will be key to the success of the programme. “Families will be supported with early intervention services and education,” Mrs Bird says.

GPs and lead maternity carers will receive routine notification of test results.

For more information visit

There will be an opportunity for media to take photos of the first Taranaki baby being tested on 1 April.

For more information please call:

Sue Carrington
Media Advisor
021 367 789

Last updated: Friday, March 27, 2009

DHB - About Us | Contact Us | Find Us | Sitemap | Disclaimer | Ministry of Health | New Zealand Government | Taranaki DHB Private Bag 2016 New Plymouth 4342 | © 2010