You may have seen our recent blog article about the addition of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to the existing NHS screening programme for Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome and Patau's syndrome from 1 June 2021.
There have been a lot of preparations behind the scenes to get ready for this point, including making sure the network of NIPT champions is up to date.
NIPT champions are people with crucial roles in antenatal and newborn screening in their trust, such as screening coordinators, community midwifery leads and fetal medicine leads.
Virtual training for NIPT champions
We’ll be running virtual workshops for NIPT champions from 30 March 2021 to complement the training that’s already taken place.
These workshops will focus on:
- the role of the NIPT champion
- the practicalities of offering and carrying out NIPT
- the information to be collected during the NIPT evaluative roll-out
- resources and support
As we mentioned in the recent NIPT blog, 3 genomic laboratory hub providers have been awarded contracts. Within this, 4 laboratories will be providing NIPT services. Maternity providers will be allocated to one of the 4 NIPT laboratories.
There will be 2 workshop dates for each NIPT laboratory for NIPT champions to choose from. You only need to attend one of the 2 dates.
These dates are:
- Tuesday 30 March and Thursday 1 April
- Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 April
- Tuesday 13 and Thursday 15 April
- Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 April
The workshops will run from 10.30am to 1pm and we’ll email NIPT champions soon with the time and date of their laboratory’s workshop, which is specific to their processes. We’re sorry we can’t give the exact details at this time – as you can imagine this is quite a complicated process.
All workshops will take place via Microsoft Teams. Before taking part in a workshop, NIPT champions should have completed the full NIPT e-learning module. This takes approximately 45 mins.
Screening quality assurance service (SQAS) and screening and immunisation team (SIT) colleagues who would like to dial into these workshops should contact Louise.Toal@phe.gov.uk to arrange a place.
More to come
Keep an eye out for blog articles in the coming weeks about:
- the things midwives need to know ahead of introduction of NIPT
- NIPT clinical guidance
- how we developed NIPT public information and training
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.