The Taranaki Newborn Hearing Screening programme has identified 60 babies and infants who missed out on being tested between April 2009 and May 2010.
This represents 5 per cent of the 1158 children screened during that period.
Parents of infants in the identified group have been offered the opportunity to re-test their children including a full B4 Schools health check, Taranaki Newborn Hearing Screening Co-ordinator Mary Bird said.
"In all cases, infants in this group were identified as being 'well babies' with no known hearing loss risk factors. This means the probability of a hearing screen test identifying a child in this group as having a hearing loss is very low."
Providing timely, quality care to our patients, regardless of age, is a key priority for Taranaki DHB, she said.
"We sincerely regret that this may have been a missed opportunity to identify hearing loss at the earliest possible stage.
"The DHB has looked closely at training and supervision to ensure that no repeats of this situation recur ... The need for careful monitoring of results is borne out by the fact that we were able to identify these problems.
The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme aims to identify newborns with hearing loss early so they can access appropriate assistance as soon as possible.
Babies and infants are seen by other health agencies at various stages in their early lives and developmental assessments are undertaken on a regular basis. This provides further opportunity to identify hearing loss at an early stage.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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