Wales to offer new non-invasive prenatal test

By Julie Griffiths on 27 April 2018 Wales NIPT - Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Pregnant women in Wales will have access to more accurate screening for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes from next week (30 April).

Wales is the first UK nation to introduce non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) across the whole country as an addition to the existing antenatal screening offer.

The test will be offered to women who have taken up the initial offer of screening and are found to be at a higher chance of Down’s, Edwards’ or Patau’s syndromes. The NIPT test is offered as an alternative to an invasive test.

RCM director for Wales Helen Rogers said: ‘The RCM welcomes the introduction NIPT, which will be available to pregnant women across Wales from today. I am also pleased that Wales is leading the way being the first UK country to make this test available to all women irrespective of where they live in Wales.

‘The test will be offered to women who have already had the initial screening and when undertaken will support the already well established screening tests that women are familiar with, such as scans and blood tests provided in early pregnancy.

‘Screening during pregnancy can be an anxious time for the parents when they decide on screening tests offered. The RCM works with the UK Screening Committee to ensure that quality and availability of screening in pregnancy and postnatally is of the highest standard.

‘Screening is always an individual choice for women and their partners and midwives in Wales have undergone additional training so they can share clear information on this new test to support women in their decision-making and to make the right choice for them.’