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Newborn blood spot screening handbook just got better

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme
A midwife takes blood from a baby’s heel
Newborn blood spot screening involves taking blood from a baby’s heel

We’ve just published an updated version of the newborn blood spot (NBS) screening programme handbook for health professionals.

NBS screens babies for 9 rare but serious conditions by taking blood from a baby’s heel. This sample is placed on to a blood spot card and sent to a lab for testing.

A quick guide

The handbook is there to inform and support those who deliver NBS screening such as midwives, health visitors, neonatal nurses and local screening coordinators.

It brings everything together in one place so it can be used as a quick reference guide to answer specific questions about the programme, including where to find other NBS screening publications.

Change afoot

Before we made any changes we carried out a review to get the thoughts from those who use the handbook.

We made several changes and improvements to the new version as a result of the feedback we received.

We think descriptions of the screening pathway are clearer. We have included updated information about the 9 conditions screened for as part of the programme and provided links to all the guidance.

You will also notice that rather than publish as a pdf, the new handbook has been published on GOV.UK in what’s called HTML format.

This means the content is directly on the web page rather than in a separate file you need to download from the website and view using other software.

The HTML format reflects changes in how we access and use information. In the past, most people preferred holding a document in their hands but now we're becoming familiar with the benefits of reading publications online.

We want your feedback

Of course we hope everyone likes the changes we’ve made, but to make sure the updated handbook meets your needs we welcome feedback from everyone who uses it.

Please email your comments to

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