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Family origin questionnaire guidance updated for NHS antenatal screening providers

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme
The updated guidance includes specifications for locally developed electronic and paper form FOQs

The NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia (SCT) Screening Programme uses the family origin questionnaire (FOQ) antenatal screening form to help assess if someone is likely to be a carrier for sickle cell, thalassaemia or another haemoglobin disorder.

The FOQ is mandatory for all antenatal booking blood requests and is a vital part of the programme.

NHS maternity service providers have until now been able to order printed copies of the FOQ form from PHE nationally. However, the transition to digital information means there will be no more national print runs once current stocks have been used up.

NHS screening providers must therefore now replace the national printed FOQ form with a local digital form, local paper form or combined local booking bloods and FOQ form.

Essential elements of a local FOQ form

We have updated the NHS SCT FOQ guidance on GOV.UK to describe the essential elements that local providers must include in their local FOQ form, whatever its format.

Local screening providers should make sure their local FOQs follow this guidance.

The guidance includes:

The country of origins list includes the FOQ categories and sub-categories which must be included in local FOQ forms.

We are often asked about specific family origins which are not currently included on the FOQ form. So we have created an alphabetical list of countries, an expansion of the essential family origin countries included on the FOQ form, along with the category to which they belong.

Please contact us if there are any country origins you would like included on the list. The existing national FOQ PDF form is still available to view and download so local services can use it for reference in their locally designed forms.

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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