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Course Overview

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is a timely issue in the UK. Already available within the private healthcare system, this maternal blood test is set to be offered by England’s National Health Service (NHS) in 2019.

On this course, healthcare professionals will be introduced to the development, technology, along with ethical and legal considerations of NIPT. You will consider how and when to discuss NIPT with patients and the importance of patient choice. You will reflect on current NIPT practices, your personal experiences in the healthcare system, and improvements for the future.

  • Overview of genetics: The fundamentals that underpin genomics
  • NIPT: The discovery of fetal cell free DNA
  • Developments of the scientific technology behind NIPT
  • Clinical implementation and limitations of NIPT
  • Information provision, communication and individualised choice
  • Social and ethical implications of screening
  • Current concerns and future developments of NIPT

This course is for midwives, sonographers, and obstetricians. It is also ideal for GPs and genetic counsellors. Although the course will assume knowledge of healthcare at some point, the course might also be of interest to people considering NIPT.

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
  • Describe cell division and how it can lead to Patau’s, Edwards’ and Down’s syndrome
  • Apply basic genetic knowledge to understand NIPT screening in pregnancy
  • Describe the different technologies currently available for NIPT
  • Describe how an NIPT trisomy risk is calculated
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current NHS screening pathways in the UK
  • Discuss the limitations of NIPT testing, and where NIPT may not be an appropriate screening choice
  • Explain the potential causes of a false positive, false negative and a no-call result
  • Discuss importance of informed choice, and what can influence decision making
  • Explore the challenges of language, terminology and communication in the healthcare setting
  • Debate the social and ethical implications that are presented by availability of NIPT