project banner image

In partnership with

project partners image Public Health England NHS

NHS Newborn Blood Spot (NBS) Screening Programme

About

The NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme screens newborn babies for nine rare but serious conditions:

  • sickle cell disease (SCD)

  • cystic fibrosis (CF)

  • congenital hypothyroidism (CHT)

  • phenylketonuria (PKU)

  • medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD)

  • maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)

  • isovaleric acidaemia (IVA)

  • glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA1)

  • homocystinuria (HCU). 

The programme uses a heel prick test to collect spots of blood which are tested to find babies who have one of the conditions. Babies who test positive can then be treated early, improving their health and, in some cases, preventing severe disability or even death.

Expanded newborn blood spot screening module

This module provides information on the four disorders that became part of the Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme in England from January 2015 (MSUD, IVA, GA1, HCU).

Learners can also review the other five disorders (SCD, CF, CHT, PKU, MCADD). It is aimed primarily at health professionals taking blood spot samples.

The module should take no longer than 12 minutes to complete.

Read a brief description of each unit within this module:  

Unit 1 The 4 additional disorders

An introduction to the four additional disorders that were added to the NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme from January 2015.

Unit 2 The 5 existing disorders

A refresher on the five existing newborn blood spot disorders that were screened for pre January 2015.

Unit 3 Further information, including parent interview

Provides downloadable resources and videos to support newborn blood spot screeners.

Improving blood spot quality e-learning

The aim of this online learning module is to:

  • help improve the quality of blood spot samples in England

  • explain why blood spot quality matters

  • explain the reasons why repeat samples are requested

  • provide practical advice on taking good quality blood spot samples

The module is intended to support the work of the NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme and screening laboratories to standardise sample rejection criteria, and to support local initiatives to reduce the avoidable repeat rates.

Read a brief description of each unit within this module:  

Unit 1 Blood spot quality matters

Why blood spot quality matters for newborn blood spot screening.

Unit 2 Taking good quality blood spots

Explains and demonstrates the correct methods for taking good quality blood spots.

Unit 3 Review questions and certificate

A quiz covering the whole Improving blood spot quality e-learning module.

Unit 4 Further resources

Downloadable resources and videos to support newborn blood spot screeners.

Interactive blood spot card

This tool allows you to hover your mouse over each field on the blood spot card. A multiple choice question will appear relating to why the information is needed.

All the fields on the card need completing as missing or incorrect information can be the reason for a repeat sample request.

Errors filling in the card account for approximately half the number of avoidable repeats.

Livechat

We are trialling Live Chat as a new form of support.

The service will be available from:

Monday to Friday
11 am till 1 pm
2 pm till 4 pm

Go to Live Chat
Feedback

We are assessing our support services. Please help us by providing feedback and completing this short questionnaire.

Go to Feedback form