NHS to offer non-invasive prenatal testing to pregnant women

A Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) evaluated by a team led by BRC-supported Professor Lyn Chitty is to be introduced into the NHS for the screening of Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

NIPT is a maternal blood test which checks the amount of cell-free DNA present in the mother’s blood to screen for chromosomal abnormalities in the baby. The introduction of NIPT will mean a reduction in the number of women who need to have the current invasive procedure carried out, therefore reducing the number of associated miscarriages.

NIPT will be launched in 2018 and will be offered to around 10,000 women a year who are at increased risk of having a child with Down’s Syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome.

This announcement comes after a positive recommendation from the government’s expert UK national screening committee. For more information please read the full press release in the Guardian.