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Cross programme work


The UK NSC promotes sharing of best practice across all the English screening programmes and has several strands of works in this area.


1. The Fetal, Maternal and Child Health Coordinating Group (FMCH)

This is a formal subcommittee of the UK NSC.

Chair: Dr Madeleine Johnson

Officers: Dr Anne Mackie, John Marshall

The overall aims of the FMCH are to

  1. develop and maintain an up to date policy framework for antenatal, newborn and childhood screening
  2. develop a cross cutting framework for the implementation and maintenance of screening programmes

Terms of reference

  1. to receive half yearly reports from the condition specific groups
  2. to discuss and recommend policy in the light of new research and to recommend research in the absence of evidence
  3. to report to the National Screening Committee
  4. to approve project plans that have resource consequences
  5. ensure subgroups and programmes are integrating where appropriate
  6. oversee priorities of the subgroups

Reporting line/frequency

Report to the National Screening Committee twice a year. 

The total membership of the FMCH Coordinating Group will be large but each member will only be expected to attend 2 meetings per year.


  • Officers of each of the subgroups (including all national screening programme managers)
  • Wider membership to include:
    • SHA representative,
    • PCT representative,
    • Parent representative,
    • Regional Antenatal Screening Co-ordinator,
    • Child Health Co-ordinator,
    • Expert clinicians,
    • Representatives from all four Health Departments,
    • Representatives from Professional bodies / Colleges
    • Laboratory representative.

2. Public information, communications and professional development

The Public Information, Communications and Professional Development (PIPD) Group, a sub group of the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) ensures a joined up approach to the development of patient information and professional development resources across the English screening programmes. It also helps to bring together a pan-programme strategy for communicating with stakeholders, the public and the press.

The public information and communications remit includes providing a single source of information for women covering all the English antenatal and newborn screening programmes, and ensuring that antenatal and newborn publications have a common presentation in line with NHS identity guidelines.

The aim of the professional development work is to ensure that healthcare professionals are supported in the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of screening programmes. For access to UK NSC education resources, please see the Continuing Professional Development website.

The PIPD group includes representatives from all the English screening programmes and the regional teams.


3. Quality Assurance

In recent years there have been a number of improvements to the antenatal and newborn screening programmes offered as part of maternity care. These programmes are well established and there is a need to ensure that the quality of services remains high in order to maintain their effectiveness and safety. To achieve this aim a quality assurance (QA) team has been appointed with the responsibility for the development of a QA system which will include review visits and qualitative / quantitative assessment of services. The team will also ensure that QA related work streams are brought together to prevent duplication of effort. The main focus this year will be to develop, pilot and evaluate a review process for antenatal and newborn screening programmes with a view to implementation across England should these pilots prove successful.

Find out more in the QA area.

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