Newborn screening

All babies are offered screening tests to check if they have a health condition.

This means treatment can be started as soon as possible and may improve health outcomes.

Newborn screening tests are done in the first few weeks of life.

What tests will my baby be offered?

Your baby will be offered:

You can choose for your baby to have some, none, or all of the tests offered.

Why are these tests done?

Although most babies are born healthy, a few may have serious, rare health conditions that can only be picked up after birth. Finding these health conditions as soon as possible ensures early treatment to prevent ill health.

It’s important that you understand the reasons for screening, and what might happen if you choose not to have the tests.

Your health professional will explain which newborn screening tests are offered. They’ll always ask for your permission before a test.

Information in other languages and formats

Information leaflets from Public Health Scotland are available in

  • British Sign Language (BSL), Audio, Easy Read, and Large Print formats
  • English and other languages

You can request another format or language (for example Braille) by emailing

Audio (English)
British Sign Language (BSL)
Easy Read (English)
Large Print (English)
Simplified Chinese (Mandarin)

Last updated:
25 June 2024