Public Health England Screening has published a blog outlining the criteria required for sonographers working in fetal anomaly screening.
The blog states that all ultrasound practitioners, including those employed via agencies, must meet these criteria before undertaking the first trimester Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s screening as part of the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP).
Any practitioner undertaking a fetal anomaly ultrasound scan should hold, as a minimum, one of the following:
Practitioners must also complete the following e-learning resources:
Both e-learning resources are on Health Education England’s (HEE's) e-learning for Healthcare website.
Find out details on how to register here.
Nigel Thomson, the SoR’s Professional Officer for Ultrasound, said: “All sonographers should read and comply with the requirements stated in the FASP blog.
“The FASP requirements are in place to ensure that screening is able to meet the published standards for screen positives and detection of the screened for conditions.
“The requirements apply to individual sonographers, agencies providing staff and the departments themselves.”
The blog also provides advice for managers and service providers
Screening providers must check that their last Down’s syndrome quality assurance support service (DQASS) submission was green or amber flagged. Practitioners should have a copy of their most recent DQASS report.
Providers must work with practitioners to make sure image review is undertaken and appropriate action is taken as specified in the FASP ultrasound practitioners handbook.
Once all the above criteria are satisfied, there should be a process for ongoing regular image review and submission of data to DQASS, as is the requirement for other ultrasound practitioners.
You may also want to read the recent sonography workforce supply review commissioned by the Department of Health and HEE.