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Guide to 2018/19 screening specifications

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The new screening specifications include changes to the national programmes

NHS England has published the 2018 to 2019 service specifications for all 11 NHS Screening Programmes.

As in previous years, they include changes and are important reading for those involved in commissioning and providing screening services in England.

Below is a list of screening programmes and the main changes from last year’s specifications that our programme managers wanted you to know about.

Clicking on the title of each screening programme will take you to the relevant service specification.

Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening

Please note a change to the information about managing women who decline screening.

Newborn and infant physical examination screening

There are minor wording changes to make things clearer and updated web links.

In particular, as a result of feedback from stakeholders and commissioners, there is more clarity on requirements of the newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) screening pathway. It includes further information on:

  • the exam for babies who are in neonatal units
  • overall eligibility and exclusion criteria
  • NIPE SMART read only (with reporting) access for the child health records department to ensure results are recorded on the child health system
  • the importance of accurate recording of screening results, referrals and outcomes on NIPE SMART
  • ensuring screening and managing records for babies who do not have an NHS number at the time of screening
  • care obligations in relation to transfers and discharge from care
  • staff training and competency requirements to undertake NIPE exam

Newborn hearing screening

Additional wording has been added to outline the requirements for screener training and completion of the health screener diploma and the need to undertake regular quality assurance checks on screening equipment.

Sickle cell and thalassaemia screening

NHS England has been working with PHE on new IT (called the newborn outcomes system) for referring infants with sickle cell and thalassaemia (SCT) into treatment.

The new system will improve patient safety by allowing users to view the status of patients along the care pathway and alert clinicians when important milestones are breached.

It will automate the gathering and reporting of data and key performance indicators (KPIs) and integrate with the National Haemoglobinopathy Registry (NHR) and the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS).

The system is due to be up and running by March 2019.

Other screening programmes

Current service specifications are also available on GOV.UK for the other national screening programmes. No major changes were highlighted by our programme managers for:

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs.

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