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Newborn screening

Newborn infant physical examination (NIPE)

Within 72 hours of giving birth, you will be offered a top-to-toe physical examination for your baby. This will include 4 specific screening tests to find out whether your baby has a suspected problem with their eyes, heart, hips or, in boys, their testes which would benefit from early investigation and possible treatment.

The screening tests are carried out again between 6 and 8 weeks of age as some conditions do not develop or become apparent until then.


Newborn hearing screening test

One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. The newborn hearing screening is done soon after birth to help identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. 


Newborn blood spot (heel prick) test

The newborn blood spot is done when you baby is about five days old and involves taking a small sample of your baby's blood to screen it for 9 rare but serious health conditions including:

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • 6 inerited metabolic diseases



Further sources of information