The UK National Screening Committee has published 11 recommendations including improvements to existing screening programmes. This includes introducing non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as an additional test to the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP).
The UK NSC state that the new test is more accurate, meaning that fewer women will need unnecessary diagnostic tests, which can potentially mean a small risk of losing their baby.
Professor Alan Cameron, Vice President of Clinical Quality for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:
“The RCOG welcomes the news that non-invasive prenatal testing has been recommended for high-risk women on the NHS. This test is the most accurate and safest way of detecting conditions and genetic diseases that may have potentially serious consequences, both enhancing the information available to pregnant women and reducing unnecessary invasive procedures.
“Should the test be rolled out, resources and training for healthcare professionals offering this testing will be necessary, in particular around communication and counselling expectant parents about the implications of the test results.”