PHE screening standards revision

Following consultation, Public Health England (PHE) have updated their screening standards for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome.  The revised standards have an implementation date of 01 April 2018.

All pregnant women in England are offered a screening test for Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is to assess the chances of them having a baby with one of these conditions.

Midwives, obstetricians, sonographers and screening and diagnostic laboratory staff who provide care as part of the Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP) should make sure they are familiar with the revised standards. They should be read in conjunction with the service specifications for the programme.

  • PHE have taken the opportunity to move from using the word ‘risk’ when talking about the possibility of having a baby with Down’s, Edwards’ or Patau’s syndromes, to using ‘chance’.
  • PHE have made this change because stakeholders told them that using ‘risk’ gives a negative view of the conditions.
  • PHE will be making this change in all their public and professional information over the next year or so.

Further information:

https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/16/updated-screening-standards-for-downs-edwards-and-pataus-syndromes/