Northgate Public Services has been selected to provide a new national IT system to help improve Newborn Blood Spot Screening

3 July 2013
Northgate Public Services has been selected to provide a new national IT system to help improve Newborn Blood Spot Screening. A programme which screens newborn babies for a number of serious genetic conditions, such as Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell disease.
Every newborn baby in England is entitled to ‘blood spot' screening when they are five days old.  The new national IT system, Newborn Blood Spot Failsafe Solution, developed by Northgate Public Services, in partnership with the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC), NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia and the Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programmes will be implemented across England in 2013/14. 
The roll-out will include all maternity and child health service providers in over 400 locations. It will integrate with each of the 13 regional laboratories to provide a paperless, failsafe, performance management solution underpinning the operation of this service and providing a mechanism for regional and national governance.
The new system is designed to be failsafe and ensure that all babies take part in the screening programme so that conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis can be detected and treated as early as possible. It will identify and flag to maternity units through an online and colour coded failsafe list any babies that have not been screened, or require a repeat sample to be taken.  
Christine Cavanagh, Programme Manager for the NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme, commented: “Maternity services are very excited about implementing this failsafe solution so that they can be assured that all their babies are offered blood spot screening. It is a very simple to use IT solution with far-reaching benefits for babies and health professionals.”
A key component of the new system is the provision of complete and comprehensive demographic information, such as an accurate list of all babies born and eligible for screening. This was developed from the core IT infrastructure currently used by the UK National Screening Committee, which supports the Newborn Hearing Screening, Newborn Physical Examination and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programmes.