Sickle cell and thalassaemia screening

The NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia screening programme is a genetic screening programme (NHSSCTP). This means that it also identifies people who are genetic carriers for sickle cell, thalassaemia and other haemoglobin disorders.

The NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme was set up in 2001. It is the world’s first linked antenatal and newborn screening programme. It covers England and has provided support and policy advice to the rest of the UK and internationally. It offers:

  • Antenatal screening to all pregnant women early in pregnancy and, where relevant, to fathers-to-be. The aim is to identify couples at risk of having a child with a condition so that they can make informed choices.
  • Newborn screening to all babies. This identifies all babies with sickle cell disease so they can receive prompt and potentially life-saving treatment. It also identifies genetic carriers of sickle cell disease.

UKTS is represented on the Steering Group, the Public Outreach Steering Group, the Newborn Outcomes Information Group and the Laboratory Subgroup of the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme.


For queries regarding the NHS Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes, please contact:


  • Helpdesk phone number  +44 (0)20 3682 0890