The NIPE screening programme aims to identify babies with a range of congenital conditions. This presents the best opportunity for follow up and treatment.
Initial checks are undertaken within 72 hours of birth as part of the ‘head-to-toe’, the ‘newborn’ part of the examination. Some conditions can develop later, so the examination is repeated at six to eight weeks of age, the ‘infant’ part.
Working with the National Screening Committee’s Programme Centre, we helped develop a new solution along with failsafe policies and procedures. This means that any examination appointments missed or not offered can be followed up quickly.
The solution, NIPE SMaRT, underwent a pilot programme between 2009-2012. Twenty-one maternity hospitals assessed whether screening programmes could be monitored easily. More than 36,000 babies were examined. Following a rigorous evaluation of the pilot, NIPE was given the green light by the Department of Health and National Screening Committee.