Newborn screening

All babies are offered screening tests to make sure if they have a condition, this is picked up. 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.

Newborn screening is not affected by the temporary pause to some screening programmes due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you want to know more about the affected screening programmes see our changes to screening tests and appointments section

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 rare conditions that can only be picked up after birth. Some tests can prevent disability and allow a better quality of life for your baby.

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.

Newborn screening leaflets

NHS Health Scotland have produced a leaflet explaining newborn screening in Scotland. This explains why screening is offered and what happens if the test finds that your baby might have a condition or disorder.

This leaflet's available in English and other languages.

Newborn screening leaflet

Your baby! Screening tests (BSL)

Newborn screening test: three part audio

Search for newborn screening Scotland services