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Updated standards for infectious diseases in pregnancy

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme

All of our screening programmes have national screening standards that ensure stakeholders have access to:

  • reliable and timely information about the quality of the screening programme
  • data at local, regional and national level
  • quality measures across the screening pathway without gaps or duplications

National standards ensure a consistent approach across screening programmes and ensure data is useful.

Following consultation, we have published updated screening standards for the NHS Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme.

Make sure you are familiar with the revised standards

All pregnant women in England are offered and recommended a screening test for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis. This is to enable early detection and treatment to significantly reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of infection.

Midwives, obstetricians, screening laboratory staff and specialist teams who provide care as part of the screening programme should make sure they are familiar with the revised standards. They should be read in conjunction with the service specification for the programme.

The revised standards give a set of measures that providers have to meet to make sure local screening services are safe and effective. Data is collected and reported annually against the standards in order to support health professionals and commissioners in providing a high quality programme.

Author Sharon Webb is programme manager for the NHS Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme, led by Public Health England

What we have changed

We have removed the glossary from the standards publication and now refer to PHE Screening’s central glossary of terms. If you would like to see the meaning of an acronym in the standards, hover over it with your cursor and you will be able to see the full definition.

Following feedback from some recent antenatal data workshops and consultation with the screening quality assurance service teams and programme advisors we have also made some of the definitions clearer and easier to understand to help you collect the right data. Thank you to all who took part in the consultation. Where possible, the revised standards take your feedback into account.

Look out for the infectious diseases in pregnancy annual standards data report for 2016 to 2017 which will be published soon.

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