Anybody with an interest in newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) is strongly encouraged to complete an online survey (external site) about this important screening measure.
NBS involves taking a sample of blood from the baby’s heel within the first few days after birth. Commonly referred to as the 'heel prick test', it screens babies for about 25 treatable conditions, enabling prompt diagnosis and treatment for the 1-in-1000 babies found to have one of these conditions.
The survey is being conducted by the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Working Group (a multi-disciplinary group operating under the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council committee structure) that is developing a national policy framework for newborn bloodspot screening in Australia.
The survey seeks input from a broad range of stakeholders to:
- determine the suitability of the proposed policy framework to guide newborn screening operations in Australia
- provide greater clarity on key issues identified by the working group
- identify gaps within the proposed policy framework
- identify parts of the framework for which there are varying views.
The entire survey should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes to complete and does not need to be finished in a single sitting. Likewise, respondents may choose to complete only those sections that are important and relevant to them.
The working group is seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders including:
- clinical practitioners such as midwives, paediatricians and other medical specialists
- newborn screen program staff such as program managers, pathologists and scientists
- screening system decision-makers including executives, funders and policy officers
- parents and members of the general community.
The survey closes Sunday 12 July.