Guidance

Newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) screening: programme overview

Information on the programme, including commissioning, quality assurance, education and training.

Public information about the newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) screening programme is available on the NHS website.

Public Health England (PHE) is committed to reducing inequalities and variation in participation to help make sure everyone has fair and equal access to screening services.

PHE has also published information about patient confidentiality in population screening programmes.

Target population

NIPE screens newborn babies within 72 hours of birth, and then once again between 6 to 8 weeks. The second screen is needed because some conditions appear later on.

Conditions screened for

NIPE offers newborn screening to babies born in England for:

Screening tests

Screening tests for you and your baby sets out the screening tests used for NIPE.

Evidence base

NIPE is one of 11 NHS national population screening programmes available in England.

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) makes recommendations to ministers in the 4 UK countries on all aspects of population screening. It ensures that screening provides more benefit than harm, at a reasonable cost to the NHS.

Recommendations are based on internationally recognised criteria and a rigorous evidence review process.

The UK NSC has made separate recommendations on each of the 4 NIPE conditions screened for:

Data and intelligence

PHE collects routine data to monitor the uptake of NIPE screening.

Requests for screening data and research

All external requests for NIPE screening data need to be approved by the antenatal and newborn screening research advisory committee (RAC).

PHE also has terms of reference for NHS population screening programme RACs.

The guidelines on handling patient information explain how to use and safeguard personal data in screening.

Commissioning

All NIPE commissioners must follow the relevant service specification.

Quality assurance

NIPE standards are produced by the national screening programmes.

NIPE uses key performance indicators to monitor performance in relation to national standards.

The role of the screening quality assurance (QA) service is to:

Health professionals should use the national QA team’s managing incidents guidance if issues are identified in relation to the screening pathway.

Workforce – education and training

Use the NIPE screening standards document and the NIPE clinical handbook to provide a consistent service that meets national guidance.

Education and training resources, including e-learning, are available for healthcare professionals working in NIPE screening.

Keep up to date

Visit the Public Health England (PHE) screening blog to keep up to date with what is new in the programme, including the latest guidance and good practice. Register to receive blog updates direct to your inbox.

Follow PHE Screening on Twitter for information and news on all national screening programmes.

Contact the screening team

Population screening helpdesk

PHE Screening
Floor 5
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road

London
SE1 8UG

The helpdesk is not for media enquiries and does not have access to screening results. For queries about results, contact your GP or local screening service. Order screening leaflets at www.gov.uk/phe/screening-leaflets.

Published 1 January 2013