We have improved and updated the family origin questionnaire (FOQ). This is an important element of the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia (SCT) Screening Programme.
Local antenatal screening services use the FOQ to help determine if an individual is likely to be a carrier of one of the serious inherited blood conditions that the SCT programme screens for.
In areas where there is a low prevalence of these conditions, health professionals use the FOQ to assess the chance that a pregnant woman is a carrier.
In high prevalence areas, they fill in the FOQ to help antenatal screening laboratory staff interpret screening results.
What we have changed
'Is pregnancy the result of IVF? If yes, complete the form including SECTION H'
This new question appears at the top of the form to reinforce the need to complete section H for IVF pregnancies. Section H reminds users that if pregnancy is a result of donor egg, the mother should still be offered screening and the baby’s biological father should be invited for screening immediately. The same applies if the mother has had bone marrow transplant.
- re-ordered some of the countries (but not re-categorised them)
- moved the hospital name from the top of form to the red box at the bottom of the form
- removed the estimated delivery date from the bottom of the form (this was a duplicated field)
- removed the reason for a decline (but do remember to tick the ‘screening test declined’ box if necessary)
- changed 'gestation at time of test' to 'gestation at time of sample' and moved this to the top of the form
- changed ‘any other origin’ to a tick box so you’re no longer required to write the country
Number of copies
When we carried out a survey recently we found that many services were either:
- using their own in-house designed forms
- using an electronic form
- about to move towards using an electronic form
Most respondents did not use all 3 copies of the form so we have reduced this to 2 copies and made savings on printing costs. Please note that services should continue to use up their current supply of the forms until they run out as they are still valid.
Don't forget that:
- pregnant women should have their screening test by 10 weeks of pregnancy
- all antenatal SCT screening samples submitted to the laboratory must be accompanied by a completed FOQ
- women at increased risk of having a baby with sickle cell disease or thalassaemia should be offered prenatal diagnosis at or before 12 weeks of pregnancy
- women at increased risk of having a baby with sickle cell disease or thalassaemia who accept prenatal diagnosis should have the test before they reach their 13th week of pregnancy
For more information about the FOQ and how to use it in high and low prevalence areas, check out Unit 6 Understanding the screening test and the FOQ in the SCT screening e-learning module.
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. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.