To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to review the criteria for selection of rare diseases to be included in the newborn blood spot test.
There are no plans to review the UK National Screening Committee’s (UK NSC’s) 20-point criteria for the newborn blood spot test. The newborn blood spot screening programme enables early identification, referral and treatment of babies with nine rare but serious conditions, including sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and congenital hypothyroidism.
The UK NSC welcomes proposals to screen for new conditions through its annual call for topics. The call runs from September to December each year and allows members of the public and stakeholders to submit new conditions for the UK NSC to consider and assess against its internationally recognised criteria. It is important that the addition of any new conditions to the newborn blood spot programme is supported by robust peer-reviewed evidence, and that all of our population screening programmes do more good than harm.