Skip to main content

Honour from the Queen for inspirational national blood spot screening lead

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme
2 photos side by side show Professor Bonham as a young man and then as he is now.
Professor Jim Bonham — then and now

PHE’s national newborn blood spot (NBS) screening programme manager has praised her ‘inspirational’ colleague Professor Jim Bonham for his well-deserved MBE.

Christine Cavanagh also extended congratulations to Professor Bonham as he took up the prestigious role as President of the International Society for Neonatal Screening.

Professor Bonham played an important part in the introduction of 4 new blood spot screening tests to the national programme in 2015. The NBS programme now helps more than 1,000 babies each year in the UK. Professor Bonham now offers his considerable expertise and guidance as PHE’s laboratory lead for the NBS programme.

Christine said:

In screening we have the pleasure of working with some outstanding people who support and improve our services and it is just fantastic when someone is recognised for their achievements.

She added:

Professor Bonham is inspirational. He is committed to improving the lives of babies and their families and shares his knowledge and experience to fulfil this goal. The NBS team is very proud of his achievements.

Professor Bonham’s honour comes as we prepare to celebrate 50 years of NBS screening in this country, something we’ll be talking about in the blog over the next few months.

A career spent helping save lives

Professor Bonham joined the Sheffield Children’s Hospital in 1988. His interests have included the diagnosis of patients with inherited metabolic diseases (IMDs) and their early detection by screening shortly after birth.

Professor Bonham's team in Sheffield helped to introduce screening for 4 additional and potentially life-threatening IMDs to the NBS programme.

He said:

I was delighted to be part of the design and organisation of the study which resulted in 4 new conditions being added to the programme.

Thanks to the pioneering work of Professor Bonham and others, NBS screening now enables early identification, referral and treatment of babies with 9 serious conditions. The programme helps to improve their health and prevent disability or even death.

Exciting and rewarding time

Professor Bonham says:

It is a truly exciting and rewarding time to be involved in newborn screening. The potential to help even more children has grown significantly in recent years and is set to develop even more in the future. New technology will help us better identify children who are at risk and exciting new forms of treatment are becoming available.

He added:

It is a privilege to be involved in a field of medicine that can bring fresh hope and the possibility of a fulfilling life to so many children, in this country and abroad.

Marking 50 years

2019 marks 50 years of universal NBS screening in this country and the UK continues to make a very significant contribution within the international community.

Keep an eye out on future blog posts in the next few months for more about this important landmark.

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.

Sharing and comments

Share this page