Exploring the NHS and Private options for Children’s hearing test

Exploring the NHS and Private options for Children’s hearing test


Parents often find themselves in a state of confusion when it comes to deciding between the NHS and private options for their children’s hearing tests. The dilemma arises from the uncertainty of which route to take for the best outcome especially with the NHS and private routes presenting different advantages and drawbacks. This article aims to provide parents with a clear understanding of the available options, helping them make informed decisions about their children’s hearing health.

Typically when a child is born in the UK they undergo a newborn hearing test and depending on the results they either get discharged or followed up for treatment and management options in the NHS. The next time the child could get a hearing test offered by the government could be dependent on where the child lives and this test is called a ‘preschool entry screen’ where a General Practitioner (GP) comes to a preschool to test the children’s hearing. And if the child fails the screening test, they’ll be referred to a local audiology department. 

Although this preschool entry screen is not offered everywhere in the country if you don’t live in an area where this is available, this means the only hearing test your child would get is the newborn hearing test at birth. So before your child turns 18, it is your responsibility to have a routine hearing test done on them if you notice any difficulty or challenges with their hearing. You can reach out to expert clinics like Verified Hearing in London. Click here to find out more. https://verifiedhearing.com/private-childrens-hearing-test/

Audiologists always advise parents to look at page 23 of the red book usually given to them at childbirth which lists out all the signs that show abnormal development in their child’s hearing.

So if your child isn’t meeting any of the milestones, it is advised to see an audiologist for a children’s hearing test. 

Parents are usually concerned about the long waiting time and how long it takes to get a referral from a GP to an audiology service and this is where private hearing services can come in handy. If you go to a private audiology service, you can get an appointment and a hearing test done within the week. 

Depending on the age of your child and the complexity of their needs, if it is a straightforward case of you just finding out if they can hear or not, then the private route is a great way to go. However, if your child has additional needs like Down syndrome or autism and you think it’ll be more tricky to test them, it is often advisable to stick with the NHS. The reason for this is that your child would need multiple appointments before audiologists are able to come to a conclusion of what their hearing condition is, so they’ll need multiple attempts at testing in most cases. now this can build up the cost for you as a parent if you go through the private route, but if money is not a problem for you then you can go ahead with a private children’s hearing test. 


In conclusion, navigating the options for children’s hearing tests involves weighing the advantages and disadvantages of both NHS and private services. The NHS provides comprehensive testing for children with additional needs, albeit with longer waiting times. On the other hand, private services offer quick and efficient testing, suitable for straightforward cases but potentially expensive for complex conditions. Parents must carefully assess their child’s needs, financial considerations, and the urgency of the situation to make an informed decision about the most appropriate route for their children’s hearing health. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that every child receives the necessary attention and care for optimal hearing development.

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