The processing and reporting of results for all blood spot screening tests is carried out using a dedicated IT system (Specimen Gate Laboratory IT system, Perkin Elmer).
A summary “district report”, in a PDF format, is generated and e-mailed on each working day (where possible) to the individual Child Health Records Departments. Individual reports are generated for incorporation in the babies’ personal record (red book) and are sent by first class post. The majority of repeat request letters are faxed to Child Health Records. Exceptions to this include CHT repeat requests for premature babies (faxed to ward), repeat requests following inconclusive CF results (fax and telephone call to Screening Link Health Visitor).
In addition to the above processes, several Child Health Records Departments now receive results electronically, directly into their Child Health Information system. This occurs the following day after the emailed PDF. We also report all results to the national ‘Failsafe Solution’ (Northgate).
Occasionally, we may be unable to report any results on a particular day due to an analytical problem with one of the tests, IT issues or a large number of samples being received on a particular day, for example following a bank holiday. If results are delayed by more than 2 working days then a memo will be faxed to CHRD and emailed to regional QA team for distribution to maternity units and the local area teams. The nature of the problem will be explained and when it is likely to be resolved. We will implement our contingency plan where required, to ensure timely reporting of screening results.