antenatal screening programme
95% of pregnancies in the UK result in the birth of a healthy baby. Yet, in a few cases, there are problems affecting the baby's development. Screening tests offered in pregnancy include ultrasound scans or blood tests. They are used to check for specific physical abnormalities and conditions. The screening tests are not guaranteed to find all problems.
Read more about fetal anomaly screening on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
The UK NSC recommends an ultrasound scan between 18+0 and 20+6 weeks of pregnancy to identify serious physical conditions. This is based on the position of NICE, as well as HTA systematic reviews, such as the 2003 review into first and second trimester antenatal screening for Down’s syndrome.
Supporting documents from the 2016 review
UK NSC coversheet & consultation comments Fetal anomalies (2016)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.
Other supporting documents
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.
Date previous review completed: 2016
Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Fetal anomalies
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Antenatal Results and Choices
- British Heart Foundation
- British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society
- British Pregnancy Advice Service
- CDH UK
- Child Growth Foundation
- Children's Heart Federation
- Contact a Family
- Down's Heart Group
- Down's Syndrome Association
- Down's syndrome Medical Interest Group
- Downs Syndrome Scotland
- Down Syndrome Education International
- Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK
- Elfrida Society
- Faculty of Public Health
- Genetic Alliance UK
- Little Hearts Matter
- Marie Stopes International
- Miscarriage Association
- PHG Foundation
- Restricted Growth Foundation
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Midwives
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- Saving Down Syndrome
- SHINE Charity
- Society and College of Radiographers
- The British Medical Ultrasound Society
- Tiny Tickers
- Together for Short Lives
- Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine