Sickle cell and thalassaemia screening: education and training

Training and continuing professional development (CPD) for people working in the sickle cell and thalassaemia screening programme in England.

This guide sets out education and training resources available to healthcare professionals working in the sickle cell and thalassaemia (SCT) screening programme.


Most e-learning developed by the NHS screening programmes is available on the e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) website.

E-learning for GPs

Complete the British Medical Journal’s antenatal and newborn screening module to learn about:

  • the principles of screening and how they are applied in practice
  • what screening programmes are available
  • how to advise patients about the timing of screening tests

Haemoglobinopathies: SCT screening programme update

The SCT programme is pleased to provide funded places for eligible professionals to attend this study day for:

  • non specialist nurses
  • midwives
  • health visitors

Haemoglobinopathies: specialist counsellors update

This free one-day update is for practitioners who have previously undertaken the Professional Education for Genetic Assessment and Screening (PEGASUS) course or an alternative sickle cell and thalassaemia related module.

Genetic risk assessment and counselling module

This 4-day course is for NHS staff delivering counselling to ‘at risk’ couples as identified by the NHS SCT screening programme. The course covers:

  • haemoglobin disorders

  • practical applications of genetics in health care

  • genetic testing

  • prevention of genetic disorders

  • prenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling

Sign up and bursary

The SCT programme offers a number of course fee bursaries for eligible professionals. To obtain for a bursary you must apply to both King’s College London and the SCT programme.

  1. Apply to King’s College London for a place on the course.
  2. Apply for funding from the SCT programme.

This bursary is not applicable for practitioners who have already undertaken the PEGASUS course or a Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia related masters module.

Laboratory update days

These update days are for bench level staff, haematology laboratory managers and consultant haematologists. They take place from 9am to 5pm and include:

  • a programme and laboratory update
  • quality assurance update
  • a clinical talk
  • interactive case studies
  • an open forum

There is no cost for this training day. For further details please contact the SCT programme team.

We publicise upcoming laboratory training days through the PHE Screening blog. Click on the laboratories tag on the blog page to find blog articles relating to screening laboratories.

Counselling competences

Families at risk of specific inherited conditions should have access to appropriate genetic counselling. Read the counselling competencies document on the national archive for:

  • counselling competencies
  • learning resources
  • pathways and failsafes
  • an example job description for counsellors

Education and training: all programmes

Read and download education and training resources for all screening programmes. This includes:

  • midwife resource cards
  • the screening timeline
  • events

Health Knowledge: screening overview

The interactive learning on screening available from Health Knowledge is helpful for new and non clinical staff or those returning after a long period of absence.

Published 8 December 2017
Last updated 8 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated and corrected information on laboratory update days.
  2. First published.