At Kingston Maternity Unit you will be offered screening tests for you and your baby. This is in accordance with the UK National Screening Committee guidelines.

All women will be sent the National booklet: ‘Screening tests for you and your baby’ (This booklet is also available in other languages if needed

It is important that you read the booklet and inform your midwife of any relevant conditions that may occur in you, your partner or your immediate families.

More Information about screening tests:

Ultrasounds Scans

You will be routinely offered two scans during your pregnancy. The first scan is offered between 11+0 and 13+6 weeks of the pregnancy and the purpose of this scan is to:

  • Measure the length of your baby, to check that it correlates with your dates and estimate an expected due date
  • Check your baby’s heart rate
  • Check if there are multiple pregnancies –twins or more
  • Check for other abnormalities
  • Offer screening for Downs syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome

The second scan, known as the “anomaly scan” is offered is between 18+0 – 20+6 weeks of the pregnancy and the purpose of this scan is to:

  • Look at all the major organs and limbs to detect any structural abnormality with the baby
  • Determine where the placenta has embedded
  • Determine the amount of amniotic fluid

If any issues are raised from this scan, arrangements will be made to discuss the findings with your obstetric consultant or the screening midwives.

In some pregnancies your Obstetrician will recommened additional scans.

Blood Tests

You will be offered a number of blood tests at your booking appointment, which we encourage you to have. Blood tests are a way of checking yours and your baby’s health. If any of the results were to show you or your baby were at risk, or affected, we can then provide the best care and treatment, if necessary.

  • Screen for haemoglobinopathies (these are inherited blood conditions) – to see if you are a carrier of Sickle cell or Beta Thalassemia
  • Screen for infectious diseases – Hepatitis B, HIV and Syphilis
  • Determine your blood group and rhesus factor

Screening for Down’s Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome

You will be offered screening for Down’s Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome at your first scan. The screening test is able to provide specific information about your chance of having a baby affected with Down’s syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome. It is your choice wether you choose to have screening ot not.

The options are:

  • Screening for ALL three conditions – Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s Syndrome
  • Screen for Down’s Syndrome only
  • Screen for Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome only
  • No screening at all

At Kingston NHS Foundation Trust, the ‘Combined test’ is offered to all women under 14+1 weeks of pregnancy and involves measuring three markers in relation to the pregnancy.

The markers are:

  • Measurement of fluid under the skin at the back of the baby’s neck, known as the nuchal translucency (NT),
  • Measurement of two serum markers found in the mother’s blood from the pregnancy.(Beta HCG and PAPP-A)

If you haven’t been able to have the combined test, we are still able to offer you a screening test for Down’s syndrome. This is known as the ‘Quadruple’ test and it is offered between 14+2 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. As the name suggests, it is measuring 4 serum markers in the mother’s blood. Both of these tests are processed by the Wolfson laboratory.

The results from all of these markers are processed by a specific computer programme to generate the likelihood of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. Any number that is below 1 in 150 means that there is a higher chance of the baby having Down’s syndrome and you will be offered further testing, if you wished. Numbers that are above 1 in 150, means that there is a lower chance of the baby having Down’s syndrome. However, it has to be remembered that a screening test cannot diagnose Down’s Syndrome. If the result is ‘high’ the screening midwives will contact you to discuss the implications of the result and your options.

Private Screening Tests

Did you know all women can request a private DNA test from 10/40 at Kingston Hospital?
It costs £300 and is currently the most accurate screening test for Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s Syndromes.
Contact our Screening Team for more info on 020 8934 6440.

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