NHS antenatal and newborn screening programmes: resources for laboratories

NHS antenatal and newborn screening programmes: resources for laboratories

This page includes laboratory information on national requirements, screening standards and pathway requirements for the:


The following handbooks are available:


NHS ANNB screening programmes are quality assured by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). UKAS provides accreditation to the internationally recognised standard ISO 15189 Medical Laboratories.

UKAS and Public Health England (PHE) jointly maintain oversight and governance of PHE laboratory quality assurance (QA) and ensure effective arrangements for communication and collaboration.

Guidance is available on evidence requirements for laboratory QA covering the NHS ANNB screening programmes with a laboratory component.

Down’s syndrome screening quality assurance support service (DQASS)

DQASS supports NHS FASP. It provides feedback and support to laboratories, sonographers, SQAS and to the NHS FASP.

The analysis provided by DQASS is used to improve the performance of screening programmes by providing feedback on:

  • laboratory tests
  • ultrasound departments
  • commercial suppliers

The DQASS laboratory cycle report includes aggregated results for all laboratories and allows comparison of performance cycle-on-cycle.

Screening standards

NHS screening programme standards are a defined set of measures that providers must meet to ensure local screening services are safe and effective.

Pathway requirements

Pathway requirements are available for each NHS ANNB screening programme.


Data on NHS screening programmes is collected and analysed.

An annual NHS antenatal screening standards data report is produced, along with an NHS SCT screening programme data report and an NHS NBS screening programme data report.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are collected quarterly and give a high-level overview of the quality of screening programmes at important points on the screening pathway. They contribute to the QA of screening programmes but are not, in themselves, sufficient to quality assure or performance manage screening services. There are KPI reports for 2019 to 2020.

Published 12 February 2021

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