The Statewide Infant Screening for Hearing (SWISH) program commenced in December 2002. The screening model follows guidelines outlined by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing 2007, recommending that babies are offered a hearing screen as soon as possible after birth. In most of the hospitals providing birthing services, screening is conducted by specially trained enrolled nurses and midwives. Some screening is conducted as an outpatient in Community Health Centres.
As per the NSW Department of Health Guideline GL2010_002, screening is a two-step process whereby babies are offered a second screen if they do not pass their first. Referral to one of the three paediatric networks in NSW is indicated if the baby does not pass their second hearing screening. However, some families living on the Queensland border attend Queensland Hospitals for diagnostic audiology, follow-up and ongoing management.
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