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14 October update on NHSBT's state of readiness for EU exit

Read our update

Antenatal screening services


Antenatal screening

We offer ABO and RhD blood grouping and red cell antibody screen for antenatal samples. We provide RhD negative cards in compliance with British Society for Haematology (BSH) guidelines as well as antibody cards.

Hard copy reminders are sent to customers where 28 week screening samples have not been received.

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

The report will be available within 2 working days of receipt by NHSBT. Our extended working day ensures prompt sample processing and testing.


This is via Sp-ICE and a paper copy is sent to the laboratory by agreement.

Microbiological screening programme

The purpose of this is:

• To identify infection which could be harmful to the fetus or baby

• Reduce the risk to the baby

• Support control with appropriate management 

Microbiological screening tests for all infections currently include:

  • Treponema pallidum (syphilis) antibody

  • Hepatitis B surface antigen

  • HIV 1&2 antibodies


Testing is fully automated and benefits from the scale and security of our donation testing facilities.

Please read our Antenatal Services brochure 


Gary Cavanagh
RCI Business Development Manager
Mobile: 07384915763
Email: gary.cavanagh@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Ian Skidmore
RCI Reference Service Manager
Telephone: 0121 278 4125
Email: ian.skidmore@nhsbt.nhs.uk 

Fetal RHD screening service

We offer 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 read our brochure for information about the fetal RHD screening test which is only available to NHS Trusts that 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. Please refer to the management of pregnant women with alloantibodies.

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:

  • Reduction in administration of anti-D Ig at 28 weeks

  • Reduction in administration of anti-D Ig for potentially sensitising events in pregnancy

  • 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.


NHSBT routine transport from local hospitals. The sample has to reach the International Blood Group Reference Laboratory (IBGRL) within 7 days of the date taken.

Turnaround time

14 days from receipt at IBGRL.


This is via Sp-ICE only.

Documentation includes:

  • Fetal RHD screening service user guide INF1259
  • INF1340 Guidance for completion of fetal RHD screening referral form FRM5197
  • Fetal RHD screening referral form FRM5197
  • Filton IBGRL fetal genotype screen box labels 
  • Patient information leaflet - D negative Mother's blood test to check her unborn baby's blood group INF1263. It explains the importance of this test which identifies Mothers who need the anti-D injection.
  • Fetal RHD screening: questions and answers


For information please contact:

Erika Rutherford
IBGRL Business Development Manager
Mobile: 0780 890 6398
Email: erika.rutherford@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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