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Special care baby unit screening leaflet goes digital

Sampole of blood being taken for newborn blood spot screening

The NHS offers screening tests for all newborn babies for a range of conditions so they can be given appropriate treatment as quickly as possible if needed.

There are important differences in the way these tests are carried out for babies in units which provide special or intensive care.

These differences are explained in Screening tests for you and your baby: babies in special care units.

We have updated this publication in accessible, digital HTML format as part of our work to phase out printed national NHS screening leaflets and move to digital information by default.

Positive feedback from neonatal units

The Specialist Midwives and Clinical Nurses Forum, which supports and advises the NHS Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme, helped put us in touch with lots of neonatal units and care networks across England.

We asked these units directly what they thought about the move to providing parents with digital information. We had lots of feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive. Units that responded said things like:

It’s a great idea, in this day and age, the modern parent is very good at googling everything.

We do allow phones and tablets on unit. The parents spend a lot of time on their phones and could be pointed in the right direction for screening info.

A few responses said that it was important to still have access to the printed version, which is why we now provide guidance on how to print digital leaflets.

However, regular readers of the PHE Screening blog will know that women and midwives really like digital antenatal and newborn screening information, and that the number of printed copies required by trusts that now signpost women to digital information has reduced dramatically.

What services should do now

NHS newborn screening services should familiarise themselves with, and signpost parents to, the digital version of this information by default.

Providers can continue to use and order printed leaflets of the leaflet until printed stocks run out, but should only do so for the minority of parents who cannot access digital information.

How to access translations

We have also updated this information in digital HTML format in 12 other languages.

The Punjabi translation can be found below the English version on the main publication page.

Use the links in the top right of the page to access the other 11 translated versions in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Somali and Urdu. See screen shot below.

Screen shot of special care units screening information web page with links to translations circled

PHE Screening blog

The PHE Screening blog provides 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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