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Health visitors' role in newborn blood spot screening

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New national policies and standards for newborn blood spot screening for some uncommon but serious conditions indicate that health visitors may have an increasingly important role in supporting parents. This may include offering support and guidance through times of uncertainty and hearing bad news about their baby's screening result. The UK Newborn Screening Programme Centre (UKNSPC) has developed resources for health professionals to support them in communicating with parents about newborn blood spot screening at different times in the screening pathway. In an era of informed choice in health care, including screening, effective communication and the provision of evidence-based information are increasingly highlighted. This paper draws attention to the importance of effective communication between health professionals and parents, and describes the resources developed specifically to support this. It outlines the communication guidelines developed by the UKNSPC, paying particular attention to the role of health visitors at critical times in parents' screening journey.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Community Practitioner - the journal of the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (Unite/CPHVA) - has a readership that includes over 20,700 healthcare professionals who work in the community, caring for over 5,000,000 clients, patients and families across the UK. These comprise health visitors, school nurses, district nurses, practice nurses, community paediatric nurses, community nursery nurses and other community-based practitioners.
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