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Infant screening service celebrates 20 years

The Statewide Infant Screening Hearing Program (SWISH) has recently celebrated 20 years of service across the district.

The service operates at both Royal North Shore and Hornsby hospitals within NSLHD as well as North Shore Private Hospital, The Mater Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital and Northern Beaches Hospital.

The service uses technology to screen every newborn at each hospital to indentify significant permanent bilateral hearing loss.

The purpose of the screen is to enable access to appropriate intervention that will limit the learning and development difficulties associated with hearing impairment, by six months of age.

RNSH SWISH manager Houda Taleb said the service plays a big role in helping babies get a great start to life and is able to help parents along the way.

“We understand the role we play in providing each newborn the best start to life by ensuring they have sufficient hearing for speech and language development," she said.

Being a part of the journey to parenthood with families is very fulfilling
RNSH SWISH manager Houda Taleb

Houda said the service has continued to grow and improve throughout the years by developing different partnerships as well as the development of further patient information.

“The service has progressed with networking and building stronger relationships with other healthcare providers in hospitals and in the community,” she said.

“The SWISH parent or carer information brochures are provided in English and are now also available in 31 other community languages.”

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