Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening checks and audits

Public Health England | July 2018 | Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening checks and audits

Public Health England (PHE) has released new guidance which outlines the checks that are needed at each stage to ensure the individual moves seamlessly and safely through the pathway unless they choose not to.


The NHS infectious diseases in pregnancy screening (IDPS) programme aims to:

  • ensure a high quality, accessible screening programme throughout England;
  • support people to make informed choices during pregnancy and ensure timely transition into appropriate follow-up and treatment;
  • promote greater understanding and awareness of the conditions and the value of screening.

The guidance is available in full from PHE 

Related documents:

Newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) operational guidance

This guidance supports healthcare professionals and stakeholders delivering and managing newborn hearing screening programmes in England | Public Health England

This recently updated NHSP operational guidance provides clinical guidance and other documents to support the delivery of a high-quality screening programme.

This guidance is relevant to all screening programme staff and healthcare professionals involved at any point in the NHSP screening pathway.

This information puts into context the day-to-day working of the local screening programme and includes information about:

  • introductions and key contacts
  • roles, responsibilities and relationships of key NHSP staff and associated professionals
  • initial training and continued professional development including competencies for hearing screening staff
  • governance and performance responsibilities including programme standards, key performance indicators, and managing risks and incidents
  • aetiology input to NHSP and beyond
  • hearing screening equipment specifications and protocols
  • audiology input to NHSP and beyond
  • day to day management of a local NHSP patient pathway
  • the NHSP national IT system
  • reporting local programme performance

Full guidance available at Public Health England

Screening tests and early pregnancy scanning leaflets updated

Public Health England has updated and rebranded its leaflets on screening tests and pregnancy scans: 

Screening tests for you and your baby:

This booklet gives information on the screening tests offered during pregnancy and after the baby is born. It is available in English and 12 other languages.

Information about the first trimester scan:

This publication sets out early pregnancy ultrasound scan information which has been updated with rebranded artwork:

  • purpose of the scan
  • what will happen in the scan room
  • procedures for after the scan
  • what happens if a problem is found or suspected
  • what will happen if the scan cannot be completed

Commissioning ophthalmology services for children

The approaches to the prevention of vision/eye conditions and promotion of good visual health for children require very different approaches to those used in adult services | The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Image source: RCO

This briefing document will help inform commissioners of the key issues to consider when commissioning services for:

  • Children with conditions that cause (or may cause) visual impairment (VI), severe visual impairment (SVI) or blindness (BL) (WHO definition i.e. corrected acuity in better eye of LogMAR 0.5 or worse)
  • Children with common eye conditions that cause (or may cause) unilateral or milder reduction in vision
  • Children with isolated refractive error alone or those with mild/acute/self-limiting conditions (e.g. conjunctivitis)

This briefing document sets out the themes and issues relevant to commissioning of ophthalmic services for children, on behalf of the Paediatric Sub-committee of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Read the full overview here

Read the full briefing here

Screening tests during and after pregnancy

These 8 easy read guides explain the screening tests offered during and after pregnancy for people with learning disabilities:

A new measure for infant mental health screening

Ammitzbøll, J. et al. BMC Pediatrics. Published: 1 December 2016


Background: Mental health problems are a major public health challenges, and strategies of early prevention are needed. Effective prevention depends on feasible and validated measures of screening and intervention. Previous research has demonstrated potentials for infant mental health screening by community health nurses (CHN) in existing service settings in Denmark. This study was conducted to describe the development of a service setting based measure to screen for infant mental health problems, to investigate problems identified by the measure and assess the validity and feasibility in existing public health settings.


Conclusions: The new measure shows potentials for infant mental health screening. However, further exploration of construct validity and reliability is needed.

Read the full article here

Screening newborns for muscle wasting condition not recommended

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) finds babies should not be screened for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

B0003724 Nerve in skeletal muscle, showing dystrophin location
Image source: Prof. Peter Brophy – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows nerve in skeletal muscle, showing dystrophin location.

Newborn babies should not be screened for the muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to the UK’s independent expert screening committee. The current test available for the condition incorrectly identifies some babies as having the condition and misses others who go on to develop the disease.

Read the full over view here