Statewide Infant Screening for Hearing (SWISH)

baby-hearingThe NSW Newborn Hearing Screening Program is a NSW Statewide Infant Screening – Hearing (SWISH) Program which commenced in December 2002. Since that time, over 95% of babies born in NNSW LHD have been tested or screened.

Through this program all newborn babies are offered a non-invasive hearing screen. A trained hearing screener will do the screen when your baby is asleep or resting. The test does not hurt the baby. Approximately 1-2 babies per thousand are expected to be diagnosed with a bilateral moderate or greater hearing loss.

The SWISH Program helps us to identify babies that are born with permanent hearing loss

The screening is done very soon after birth and should be done by one month corrected gestational age so that families and babies can receive treatment before the baby is three months old. This helps with preventing long term hearing loss. Parents are asked to consent to the screening before the SWISH test is done.


  • All newborn babies


  • Your midwife or doctor will discuss the SWISH test with you and refer your baby to the program

SWISH is available at:

  • The Tweed Hospital
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital
  • Byron Central Hospital
  • Lismore Base Hospital
  • Grafton Base Hospital
  • Outpatient clinics (for those babies who are not tested immediately following their birth).

To find out more about local SWISH programs click on:

NSW Health Information sheet – Why does my baby need a hearing screen?

To read the information sheet click on the link below (English and other language versions available).

To contact the SWISH program phone:

The nearest Maternity Unit or the SWISH Coordinator on 02 6620 2563 or 0429 453 384