Bar-coded label project implementation training
The documents and resources on these pages are intended to support bar-coded label project implementation training. Please note that the resources were produced in 2008 and may be out of date.
About this resource
The newborn screening programme routinely offers screening to all babies usually on day 5 after birth, but it is also offered to babies up to one year of age.
The process involves taking the blood sample onto a special filter paper card, sending this card to the screening laboratory where they undergo a number of tests with the aim of picking up babies will illness or conditions that would benefit from early treatment. Results are sent to the relevant child health record department where they are added to the baby's record.
Why use a bar-coded NHS number label?
A problem for the programme has been tracking babies through the system to make sure they have been tested. NHS Connecting for Health introduced NHS Numbers for Babies (NN4B) in October 2002 allocating every baby a unique ten-digit NHS number available shortly after birth, making it possible for tracking babies in England and Wales to be based on the NHS number.
The specification for software to download NHS number in maternity departments did not include producing a bar-coded NHS number label. After confirming the readable demographics are for the correct baby, a bar-coded label will ensure the NHS number is correctly applied to the blood spot card, preventing transcribing errors of health professionals taking the sample and laboratory staff reading and entering the NHS number and demographics from the card.