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We’ve published first annual fetal anomaly screening data report

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We are pleased to publish the first annual data report for the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP).

It covers the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 and provides feedback on completeness of data submission and performance against the national standards.

When you read the report (pictured below) please bear in mind this is a new process for us nationally and for providers locally. It should be seen as a work in progress and an opportunity for improving services.

Some of the challenges providers had with submitting data this year were:

  • lack of adequate reporting and IT systems to collect and report data, for example maternity systems are not necessarily designed to link with other systems such as laboratories
  • defining exclusions and split exclusion categories
  • providing matched cohort data
  • misunderstanding of the data requirements
  • reporting of partial data, for example quarter 1 to quarter 3 only in the case of Standard 2 ‘coverage of the fetal anomaly scan’

The recommendations in the report mainly fall into 3 areas.

  1. We (the national programme) need to be clearer about some of our definitions and expectations. We have revised the definitions where we have had feedback and where the data submissions indicated there were misunderstandings about what we meant. We are also running data workshops across the country. These are well received and provide a forum for learning from each other.
  2. You (providers) need to continue to develop local processes to improve completeness and the quality of data submissions.
  3. You (providers and commissioners) should be developing action plans for standards where the achievable thresholds are not yet met.

We recognise the difficulties and challenges you have with collecting this data. Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance with this. We will continue to work with you to improve. We are open to feedback, so please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement, if you need help or if you have good news to share about how you are doing this in your organisation.

Headline figures

Women screened and higher chance results

FASP annual data 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 Total
Number of tests performed 508,105
Number of tests in 1st trimester (combined test) 437,748
Number of tests in 2nd trimester (quadruple test) 70,357
Number of women at higher chance 13,920
Standardised screen positive rate 2.2%

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