newborn screening programme

Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are problems with the heart that are present at birth. They include a wide range of problems. Some defects resolve by themselves and more severe defects require urgent treatment. In the vast majority of cases the cause of the problem is not known.

A number of frequently asked questions have been developed following the last review in 2014.

Read more about congenital heart disease on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in May 2014.

Screening for this condition is recommended.

Congenital heart disease screening is part of the physical examination of newborn babies and again at 6-8 weeks.

The UK NSC recommends piloting the use of pulse oximetry test to evaluate the potential benefits of its use as a new screening test for congenital heart disease.

Changes to the newborn and infant physical examination screening programme

The UK NSC considers changes to screening programmes when there is strong evidence that they could improve outcomes. See our current and past proposals to modify the newborn and infant physical examination screening programme.

Supporting documents from the 2014 review

UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Congenital Heart Disease (2019)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Screening around the UK

The UK NSC recommends screening for this condition, however this may vary slightly depending on where you are in the UK.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2014

Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Congenital heart disease

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.