Thousands of deaf babies misdiagnosed due to errors

Image copyright Grimsby Live.

Thousands of babies born with hearing problems may have been misdiagnosed and denied vital support because of errors. 

Three NHS Hospitals have had to shut down their audiology departments after thousands of children were wrongly given the all-clear over testing errors. The departments at Diana,  Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, Scunthorpe Hospital, and Warrington Hospital were all closed down. 

An urgent review was launched by NHS England after serious failings were reported at the NHS Lothian health board in Scotland, where profoundly deaf children were diagnosed so late they could no longer have the implants they needed. The review found that some areas of England had notably lower diagnosis rates for baby hearing issues. Health officials looked at the records of children born since 2018 over the past six months. 

Some staff were found to be inadequately trained or supervised, and concerns were raised over a failure to properly follow clinical guidelines. 

Proper analysis of the testing of children’s hearing was also cited as a cause for concern.  

The National Deaf Children’s Society has expressed concerns that more deaf children could have been affected but were missed by the review because they were born before 2018. 

Many children were discharged as having normal hearing when in fact they have severe issues. When the children were recalled back they were found to have permanent hearing loss. Children left undiagnosed will face difficulties for the rest of their lives and for some, it could be too late to have treatments such as cochlear implants. 

If you feel your child has been misdiagnosed or received a late diagnosis for hearing loss or deafness, and you would like to discuss making a potential claim, please contact our medical negligence experts as soon as possible. You can call us free on 0808 164 0808 or request a call back, and one of our team will call you.