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Information for Health Professionals

This information is for health professionals to provide background and guidance on how to undertake newborn bloodspot screening.

The agreed policies and standards for the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Wales programme are detailed in the documents below.  These are the standards that the programme will be measured against, to ensure a high quality programme.

Clinical referral guidelines have been published for newborn bloodspot screening in Wales.  The clinical referral guidelines for each condition are below.

Inherited metabolic disorders (IMDs):

The aim of the Newborn Bloodspot Screening programme in Wales is to offer all eligible babies, at day five of life, quality assured screening for rare but serious diseases that could benefit from early intervention and reduce mortality and/or morbidity from the disease. The test involves taking a small sample of blood from the baby’s heel.

This document brings together all the guidelines and publications
that relate to the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Wales Programme.

This guidance can be printed out to be used as a prompt card for students
and new sample takers.
It provides guidance for taking good quality bloodspot screening samples and
includes the actions required when parents decline screening.

Film 1

The film ‘Newborn bloodspot screening - the laboratory processes' has been produced for sample takers in Wales.

This film (approximately 5 minutes long) has been updated. It focuses on the process of testing newborn bloodspot screening samples once they are received in the Wales Newborn Screening Laboratory. It also highlights the importance of collecting good quality bloodspots and ensuring that documentation on the cards is complete and accurate.
To view the film please use the link: Newborn bloodspot screening - the laboratory process
Film 2
The film 'Newborn bloodspot screening in neonatal units' has been produced for sample takers working in neonatal units in Wales.
This film (approximately 9 minutes long) has been updated. It looks at aspects of newborn bloodspot screening for babies who are being cared for in neonatal units and the additional requirements needed for screening these babies. This film also shows what is required to collect a good quality sample.
To view the film please use the link: Newborn bloodspot screening in neonatal units 
Film 3
A film where a community midwife discusses how she improved her practice. This film (approximately 3 minutes long) has been produced by the NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme, England, and is part of their online learning module on improving bloodspot quality. Please note that the NHS barcoded label shown in this film is not used in Wales.
To view this film please use the link: Practising midwife explains how she improved her avoidable repeat rate

Newborn bloodspot screening samples are only occasionally taken on paediatric wards and units. In view of this, a quick reference guide has been produced for paediatric staff so they know what is required to take a good quality sample.

Click on the image to view the guidance



Newborn Bloodspot Screening Wales (NBSW) holds a database of newborn bloodspot screening sample takers in Wales as part of its quality assurance processes.

This database is used as a mechanism to monitor the quality of the newborn bloodspot screening programme and to distribute information to sample takers. Individual sample taker performance reports are now produced for registered sample takers.

The database holds information about health professionals as sample takers. Personal details are held securely and confidentially and are not released outside of the programme.

All sample takers should complete newborn bloodspot screening training before taking any samples.

To register, please click here to complete the online sample taker registration form. Alternatively you can download a copy and email it to

If you have any queries, please contact us via
These reports show the number of samples taken by the sample taker each month, the number of avoidable repeats and a breakdown of the reasons for any repeat samples. A new report is generated every 3 months (February, May, August & November) and shows performance over a 12 month period.            
The latest report covers the period July 2020 to June 2021The time period is based on the date the NBS sample was received in the laboratory.
Contact numbers for the Wales Newborn Screening Laboratory

Health professionals should use the following telephone numbers to contact the laboratory:
1. To check that a sample has been received, or for any queries about demographic information on a bloodspot card:

  • Telephone - 029 2184 4032

2. For all clinical enquiries (including interpretation of screening results) or enquiries about the quality of a bloodspot sample please contact:

Dr Fiona Stratford Clinical Biochemist

Tel – 029 2184 5448



 Professor Stuart J Moat

Consultant Clinical Biochemist,

Director of Wales Newborn Screening Laboratory

Tel - 029 2184 3562



Newborn Screening Laboratory

Newborn Screning Laboratory Department of Medical Biochemistry

University Hospital of Wales

Heath Park


CF14 4XW

Newborn Screening Administration Failsafe Team Telephone Numbers

The regional Newborn Screening Administration teams can be contacted (office hours Monday – Friday) by health professionals who have queries about the follow up of babies identified by the NBSWS failsafe. The teams can also be contacted to request the NHS number for a baby if it is not available prior to taking the sample.

South East Wales Cardiff and Vale, 
Cwm Taf Morgannwg (except Bridgend) 
and Aneurin Bevan University Health Boards

Newborn Screening 
Administration team

Tel - 029 2184 3568

Mid and West Wales

Swansea Bay, Cwm Taf Morgannwg (Bridgend) and  Hywel Dda University Health Boards and Powys Teaching Health Board

Newborn Screening Administration team

Tel - 01792 343364

North Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Newborn Screening Administration team

Tel - 01978 727005

Newborn Bloodspot Screening Wales Co-ordinators & Administration Team Contacts
Catherine Boyce -
Programme Co-ordinator 029 2010 4399
Margaret Birch -
Programme Co-ordinator 029 2010 4634
Administration Support 029 2010 4427


Newborn Bloodspot Screening Wales (NBSW) has developed the following e-learning packages which can be accessed on ESR by professionals working in Wales. For students and those with a University email they can also be accessed via Learning@Wales and ESR.

  • Introduction to Newborn Bloodspot Screening
  • Taking a Good Quality Newborn Bloodspot Screening Sample

Please find the following access guides;