We didn’t just hear you, we listened. Are we getting it right? A qualitative review of tailoring the Newborn Hearing Screening Pathway

Ms Melanie Dowling1, Ms Kate  Wills1,2

1John Hunter Children’s Hospital, New Lambton, Newcastle , Australia,

2Australian Hearing , Newcastle, Australia

The Audiology department at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital is one of three tertiary hospitals in NSW which provide Diagnostic Audiological Services for children who are referred from the State Wide Infant Screening – Hearing program, SWISH.

Since the commencement of SWISH Diagnostic Services the team at JHCH has aimed to support families through the pathway with an individualised and flexible approach, whilst also meeting the requirements outlined by the NSW Health Guidelines for the SWISH Program.

In recent years there has been a focus on tailoring services with the aim of improving the experience of families who come into our care.  This presentation will outline the focus of this customisation which includes the redesign of information brochures to reflect local practice, the use of digital and social media, reconfiguring appointment scheduling and structure, the introduction of telehealth for follow up services, and the team approach provided by The Baby Hearing Clinic at JHCH.

The presentation will then describe the preliminary qualitative review of these services which it is hoped will lead to a more in depth review of areas that require further improvement.


Melanie is a Paediatric Audiologist at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, one of the three tertiary paediatric hospitals in NSW who provide SWISH diagnostic services.  Prior to her current role she had experience in both habilitative and early intervention paediatric audiology settings, which has developed a desire to create a sense of care, support and hope for families in the Newborn Hearing Screening Pathway.