Antenatal Screening Services

Antenatal Screening

NHSBT offers: ABO and RhD blood grouping and red cell antibody screen for antenatal samples.

Please note: If the red cell antibody-screening test is positive, we will reflex test the sample onto the reference sample pathway and charge only the price of the reference investigation.

Turnaround time: Report available within 2 working days of receipt by NHSBT.

Reporting: Sp-ICE and paper copy to laboratory by agreement.

The extended working day will ensure prompt sample processing and testing.

NHSBT will provide RhD negative cards in compliance with BCSH guidelines as well as antibody cards.

NHSBT will send hard copy reminders to users where 28 week screening samples have not been received.

For information, please contact:

Erika Rutherford
RCI Business Development Manager
Mobile: 0780 890 6398

Ian Skidmore
RCI Reference Service Manager
Telephone: 0121 278 4125


Fetal RHD Screening Service

NHSBT offers: a fetal RHD screening service to prevent unnecessary administration of anti-D prophylaxis. The test predicts fetal RhD status with high accuracy from a sample of maternal blood and will improve care for RhD-negative women in England by reducing the need to administer a blood product to healthy pregnant women.

The NICE recommendation for high-throughput non invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for fetal RHD has been published on their website as a cost-effective option to guide antenatal prophylaxis with anti-D immunoglobulin (anti-D Ig)

Please see our user information brochure for further information about the fetal RHD screening test. This brochure was launched at the BBTS conference 2016


Population distribution: The prevalence of RhD-negative women in a Caucasian population is 15%, of which 38% to 40% will have RhD-negative babies. These figures will differ depending on the ethnic diversity of the local population, which may affect projected cost savings for implementation of the test.

The cost of the test is offset by:

  1. Reduction in administration of anti-D Ig at 28 weeks
  2. Reduction in administration of anti-D Ig for potentially sensitising events in pregnancy
  3. Decrease in associated requests for feto-maternal haemorrhage estimation

Sample acquisition: The service is tailored to the needs of local maternity services. Samples can be taken from 11 weeks gestation at a routine antenatal clinic appointment.

Logistics: NHSBT routine transport from local hospitals. The sample has to reach IBGRL within 7 days of date taken

Turnaround time: 14 days from receipt at IBGRL

Reporting: Sp-ICE and paper copy to laboratory if requested

Please note: This service is only available to NHS Trusts who have signed a contract for this service with NHSBT. This is not a diagnostic test for fetal RhD status for women who have made anti-D. See information for the management of pregnant women with alloantibodies.


  • Fetal RHD screening service user guide (INF1259.2.1)
  • Guidance for completion of FRM5197 fetal RHD screening referral form (INF1340.1)
  • Fetal RHD screening referral form (FRM5197/1.1)
  • Filton IBGRL fetal genotype screen box labels 

Information for patients

  • D negative Mother's blood test to check her unborn baby's blood group (INF1263/2)
    This leaflet explains why it is important to have a blood test to check the baby’s blood group, so that only those who need it, receive anti-D injections. It also describes what is Haemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn, previously called Rhesus disease.

For further information please contact:

Erika Rutherford
RCI Business Development Manager
Mobile: 0780 890 6398

Kirstin Finning
IBGRL Head of Molecular Diagnostics
Mobile: 0747 114 7733