Newborn and infant physical examination screening: programme overview
- Public Health England
- Part of:
- NHS newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) screening programme
- First published:
- 1 January 2013
An overview of the NHS newborn and physical examination (NIPE) screening programme, its services, and contact information.
Screening is the process of identifying people who appear healthy but may be at increased risk of a disease or condition.
The newborn and infant physical examination screening programme (NIPE) is one of the antenatal and newborn NHS population screening programmes.
NIPE screens newborn babies within 72 hours of birth, and then once again between 6 to 8 weeks for conditions relating to their:
The 6 to 8 week screen is necessary as some conditions appear later in a child’s development.
NHS choices has further information that parents may find helpful.
Screening is different to diagnosis and there will always be some false positive and false negative results.
Evidence and recommendations
The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) assesses evidence and makes recommendations to the 4 UK governments about population screening programmes.
The screening tests for you and your baby document sets out the screening tests used for newborn and infant physical examinations.
NIPE currently offers newborn screening to babies born in England for:
- congenital heart disease
- developmental dysplasia of the hip
- congenital cataracts
- cryptorchidism (undescended testes)
Providing prompt care
There is a clear pathway to care for healthcare professionals.
Use the NIPE screening standards and competencies document combined with clinical guidance documents to offer a consistent service that conforms nationally.
Data and quality assurance
NIPE uses key performance indicators to help define the standards of care required, collecting data to determine if clinics and staff are meeting those standards.
Health professionals should use the national quality assurance team’s managing incidents guidance should any problems occur during the screening procedure.
There are also failsafe procedures in place to ensure there is a back-up if there are any problems.
The guidelines on handling patient information explain how to use and safeguard personal data in screening.
Healthcare professionals can use the newborn and infant physical examination online learning modules and training resources to learn about the screening process and keep their knowledge up to date.
Guidance is also available for using the NIPE screening management and reporting tools system (NIPE SMART).
Commissioners for NIPE must use the set service specification to offer a programme that is fit for purpose and meets the standards set by the national NIPE programme.
Contact the screening programme
NHS population screening helpdesk
Public Health England Zone B
Floor 2 Skipton House
80 London Road
Contact form http://legacy.screenin...
Helpdesk phone number 020 3682 0890
Please note the helpdesk is not for media enquiries.
The helpdesk and national programmes do not have access to screening results.
Parents: contact your midwife or health visitor for information on screening results.
Health professionals: contact the local screening team, screening laboratory or local child health records department.
Published: 1 January 2013