Our Services

Newborn Hearing Screening

To detect and treat hearing loss as soon as possible we offer screening to all babies born at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Babies who have a Bolton GP but were born at another hospital or at home, as well as those babies less than three months old who have moved into the Bolton area without having completed a hearing screen elsewhere, are offered an outpatient appointment at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Informed, verbal consent has to be obtained before any screen can take place.

A trained screener carries out an automated otoacoustic emissions (AOAE) test on all babies. This test checks that the cochlea (inner ear) responds normally to sound. It is a simple, quick and painless test that gives instant results. If the baby has a hearing loss, is unsettled or has debris in his/her ear, the test may not show a clear response and the test will be repeated.

On babies who have no clear response from the AOAE test, and on all babies who have spent more than 48 hours on the Special Care Baby Unit, another test called the automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) test is also used. This test looks at the response of the hearing nerve to sounds. For this test, sounds will be played to your baby using earphones, and sensors placed on the baby’s head detect how the hearing nerve responds to the sounds.

If there is not a clear response from one or both ears after the second AOAE or AABR test, then the baby will be referred to the local audiology department for further tests.

Service locations

Royal Bolton Hospital

Key contact numbers

Newborn Hearing Screening

Tel: 01204 390588

Meet the team

Skip to content