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Newborn Hearing Screening Programme reaches two millionth baby

Northgate Information Solutions, a leading provider of innovative services to the public sector and utilities markets, today welcomed the announcement by Professor Adrian Davis OBE, Director of the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, that the programme has screened its two millionth baby.

The largest integrated programme of universal newborn hearing screening in the world, it has so far identified around 3,400 babies in England as having permanent hearing impairment or deafness – essential to delivering early intervention and support for families to maximise the prospects of children reaching their full potential.

Under the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, hearing impairment and deafness is now identified in children within the first few months of birth, with the average time to hearing aid fitting now under five months. Prior to this, a quarter of children with permanent hearing loss were not identified until three and half years of age.

The national clinical IT system, eSP (eScreener Plus) is recognised as one of the most successful systems in the NHS and has been used by the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme since 2003. The solution, developed and supported by Northgate, provides the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme with a full screening management service, which delivers:

- A national online information system and performance management system with fully automated notification of all new babies born, enabling clinicians to effectively manage screening and follow-up services;

- A robust and resilient system, with secure storage of all screening data;

- Access and availability of the system for all local screening services;

- Fast technical support through a dedicated service desk, available 365 days a year.

Professor Adrian Davis OBE, Programme Director for the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, said today:
“Deafness and hearing impairment can have a major impact on a child’s communication skills and development, and early identification provides babies with better prospects of developing those essential skills. It also gives more opportunity for babies to bond within the family and experience social and emotional interaction from an early age. Working alongside our technology services provider, Northgate Information Solutions, we have been able to ensure that the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme works effectively for clinicians, newborn babies and their families.”

Dave Meaden, Managing Director of Public Services at Northgate Information Solutions, added:

“Northgate is delighted to have been able to support such an important systematic change to newborn hearing services, bringing health equality and improved life chances for all babies irrespective of background or place of birth. We would like to congratulate the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme on its success to date, which has so far enabled the early identification of over 3,400 babies.”

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For more information:

Fellows’ Associates:

Kathy Sutton
Tel: 020 7849 3403
Mob: 07966 890401
Email: ksutton@fellowsassociates.com

Naomi Stevenson
Tel: 020 7849 3508
Mob: 07966 890403
Email: nstevenson@fellowsassociates.com

Notes to Editors:

1. Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of innovative services to the public sector and utilities markets. Northgate’s task is to enhance public value through the intelligent use of people and technology, and to share in the economic and social benefits that this brings.

2. In the UK, the company works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Northgate supports public service transformation through sustainable performance partnerships. Its technology is used in the administration of more than £12 billion of revenues and benefits; in electoral administration systems covering 18 million people; to support the national system for reporting police performance; and in the management of over three million local authority and housing association properties worldwide. Founded in 1969, the company has over 6,000 employees.

3. Northgate works with the Department of Health, the Healthcare Commission, hospitals, strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, using information management to support healthcare development.

4. For more information on the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, visit http://hearing.screening.nhs.uk