NSW Statewide Infant Screening - Hearing (SWIS-H) Program

What is the SWIS-H Program?

  • The NSW Statewide Infant Screening - Hearing (SWIS-H) Program aims to identify all babies born in NSW with significant permanent bilateral hearing loss by 3 months of age, and for those children to be able to access appropriate intervention by 6 months of age.
  • Identification of significant hearing loss is achieved through universal hearing screening of all newborns.
  • About one to two in every 1,000 babies has significant hearing loss. The SWIS-H program aims to identify babies born with significant hearing loss and link them to appropriate services as soon as possible after birth. 

Click here for the SWIS-H Program Guidelines or here for the report of the 2009/10 SWIS-H Program evaluation. 

Information about the screening program

Five parent/carer brochures describing the SWIS-H program are available in English and 25 other community languages, in paper form from SWIS-H screening staff or via download here:

How are hearing problems diagnosed?

The screening section of the program involves the screening of all newborns in NSW using Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) technology. If newborns do not pass hearing screening they are referred for diagnostic audiological assessment. Technology is available to diagnose hearing problems in the neonatal period and early identification and intervention are important, with research suggesting that intervention commencing by 6 months of age may result in optimal speech and language development and minimise the need for ongoing special education.

A special resource, Hearing loss and your Baby: the next step is provided to parents/carers of infants who are diagnosed with a hearing loss and is available in 14 languages. This resource includes information about different types of hearing loss, effective ways of communicating with your baby with a hearing loss, support services and other useful resources.

The SWIS-H Travel program entitles a parent, who lives more than 100 km one way from one of the three SWIS-H assessment facilities, to be reimbursed for travel if the baby has been identified for follow-up diagnostic audiology services following screening for hearing under the SWIS-H program.

The SWIS-H Travel Assistance Scheme form is available here for download.

Contact details for your local SWIS-H Coordinator

Each Local Health District has a SWIS-H Coordinator responsible for implementing and managing the screening program across all facilities in their area. To find out which Local Health District you reside in, search for your closest town here

 

LHD

Name

Phone

Email 

Central Coast

Joanne Andrews

02 4320 3875

joanne.andrew@health.nsw.gov.au

Western NSW

Sandra Ford

02 6369 3300

Sandra.Ford@health.nsw.gov.au

Sue Ashton

02 6841 2253

Sue.Ashton@health.nsw.gov.au

Far West

Alison Isaacs

(08) 8080 1386

Alison.Isaacs@health.nsw.gov.au

Southern NSW and Murrumbidgee

Allison Zucco

02 4475 7208

Allison.Zucco@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Hunter New England

Janet Hodge

02 4921 3555

Janet.Hodge@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

Hunter New England

Gaye Ashbourne

02 67678150

Gaye.Ashbourne@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

Northern Sydney

Houda Taleb

02 9462 9189

Houda.Taleb@health.nsw.gov.au

South Eastern Sydney

Fionnula Torrisi

02 9382 1462

Fionnula.Torrisi@health.nsw.gov.au

Illawarra Shoalhaven

Tracy McDougall

02 4253 4208

tracy.mcdougall@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Western Sydney

Judy McCloskey

02 8759 3393

judith.mccloskey@health.nsw.gov.au

Nepean Blue Mountains

Judy Noonan

02 4734 3246

Judith.Noonan@health.nsw.gov.au

South Western Sydney 

Wendy Aspery

02 8738 6866

Wendy.Aspery@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Sydney LHD

Robyn Skinner

02 9515 8139

robyn.skinner@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Northern NSW 

Anthony Knight

02 6620 2563

Anthony.Knight@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Mid North Coast 

Anthony Knight

02 6620 2563

Anthony.Knight@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au