HL Deb 24 January 2001 vol 621 c20WA
Lord Ashley of Stoke

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they need a pilot programme to assess the implementation of a neo-natal screening programme for children; and [HL372]

Whether they will initiate an immediate universal neo-natal screening programme for deafness in children, in view of the damage caused by late diagnosis. [HL373]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The UK National Screening Committee advised the Government that universal neo-natal hearing screening (UNHS) provided a more effective and efficient screen to help detect permanent hearing loss in children. However, it pointed out that there were many practical issues to be resolved in changing from an infant distraction test to UNHS.

To ensure that UNHS can be introduced to high quality, consistent standards, these changes will be piloted first in 20 health authority areas. The lessons from the pilots will help inform and plan a national implementation.