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Dear student midwives

Student midwife smiling and standing by hospital bed.
If you're a student midwife, here's what you need to know about population screening

For those of you who are just starting your midwifery degrees, we want to help by pointing you in the direction of useful information about screening.

Population screening

Population screening is the process of identifying healthy people who may have an increased chance of a disease or condition. There are 3 antenatal screening programmes and 3 newborn screening programmes, between them covering more than 20 health conditions.

Public Health England (PHE) used to produce a hard copy NHS antenatal and newborn screening resource pack, which we sent to midwifery tutors to hand out to new students.

But printed materials quickly go out of date, so we have made the content from the packs freely available online. This article signposts you to our education resources which can support your learning.

Genetic inheritance diagram showing that both parents need to have an altered gene for their child to have sickle cell disease or thalassaemia
One of the illustrations in the old resource cards shows genetic inheritance for autosomal recessive disorders such as sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and thalassaemia

Information for pregnant women

Find out what information pregnant women are given about antenatal and newborn screening by reading our Screening tests for you and you baby leaflet and watching our short animation, below.


Visit e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) for our full suite of free online training courses.

These include our Introduction to population screening e-learning module and a number of modules on antenatal and newborn screening.

All our e-learning modules are engaging and interactive, using animations, videos and quizzes to bring learning to life.

It's easy and quick to register for the e-Learning for Healthcare portal. This means you'll get customised certificates of completion for each of the modules.

Continuing professional development

The best page to bookmark is our education and training guide on GOV.UK. This lists all our resources in one place.

These include:

The colourful new online version of PHE's resource cards. The words at the top say 'antenatal and newborn screening resource.' There is a timeline of the various screening tests and when they should be carried out. In smaller text near the bottom it says 'Click image to watch animated version' and 'click to start' inside a blue button.
A screenshot of our antenatal and newborn screening resource, which can be downloaded as a Powerpoint presentation or viewed online (including on phones or tablets) using the link above

Find out more

Visit GOV.UK for information, guidance and publications on all our screening programmes. You can also download the public leaflets.

Screening information for the public can be found on NHS.UK.

Stay in touch

The PHE Screening blog (what you're reading now!) is the best way to stay up to date with everything that’s new across all the NHS Screening Programmes. Make sure you subscribe to get updates straight to your inbox.

For daily updates, sign up to our Twitter feed.


If you have a question relating to screening in England, contact the screening helpdesk. Please note however that it does not have access to individual screening results.

If you have a question about e-learning, contact e-Learning for Health.

Finally, we'd like to wish you well in your midwifery studies and hope you enjoy working with the population screening programmes.

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.

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