Antenatal Screening Services
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Study Days

Forthcoming courses:

Wednesday 23 October 2013
Tuesday 26 November 2013

One-day courses on screening for Down's syndrome have been held at the Wolfson Institute since 1994, with over 1000 midwives, sonographers, obstetricians and counsellors attending during that time.

Course flyer

Please click here to download the course flyer (PDF, 230kb)


These theoretical and practical courses are designed to provide a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of screening for Down's syndrome, and are suited to clinic and community midwives and counsellors involved in screening programmes.

To ensure that the courses have a relaxed and informal feel we limit group size to about twenty participants. This enables the courses to be interactive with participants freely able to ask questions and participate in discussion.


The teaching staff will be from the Wolfson Institute Antenatal Screening Team.


The programme for the one-day study days is based around first and second trimester screening for Down's syndrome and includes the following:

  • Medical and genetic characteristics of Down's syndrome
  • Principles of screening
  • Nuchal translucency & serum markers
  • Performance of the screening tests
  • National guidelines and standards
  • Other conditions indicated by the screening test
  • Monitoring a screening programme
  • 20 week ultrasound markers: are they useful in screening for Down's syndrome?
  • Laboratory considerations
  • Visit to the screening laboratory
  • Workshop: interpreting results and monitoring programmes using computer software
  • Possible new markers and methods of screening for Down's syndrome
  • Information-giving: pre-test information and reporting screening results

Lectures are interspersed with discussion sessions and workshops. The workshops enable participants to gain 'hands-on' experience of the screening process and encourage a deeper understanding.

Participants are provided with a course folder containing comprehensive notes to accompany all of the lectures and presentations, along with information leaflets and counselling aides.


Learning Outcomes

The course provides participants with the knowledge and confidence to discuss screening tests for Down’s syndrome with patients in detail. By the end of the day you will be able to:

  • Talk with confidence about the performance of different screening methods and the differences between them.
  • Understand the method of risk calculation and the factors used in this.
  • Confidently explain an individuals’ screening result, discussing the MoM values and the effect of the individual markers on the risk.
  • Define other conditions that the tests screen for and other conditions that are sometimes identified from a high risk result.
  • Understand the data needed to monitor your screening programme and assess whether it is performing as expected.
  • Understand the process of sample analysis in the laboratory.
  • Discuss current areas of research into new screening markers and methods.
  • Confidently give pre-test information about the screening tests and report screen positive and screen negative results to patients.


The course will be held at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London. For a map showing our location, please click here.


To register please click here to download the course flyer (PDF, 230kb); then complete the registration form which it includes.


For more information about the study day please contact:
Cecily Cromby
Course Organiser
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Charterhouse Square
London, EC1M 6BQ

Tel: 020 7882 6258
Fax: 020 7882 6290

What the participants think

Here are some comments from the participants of the one-day study days on screening for Down's syndrome that have been held over the past ten years:

"Very well organised and fun. Despite it being a full day, the variety and length of the lectures was excellent. Well worth the journey. Thank you!"

"I have been working in FMU for only a few months and will soon be counselling women with screen-positive results. This course has given me the confidence to take this on and the course book will be a very useful resource for the future."

"I think the course book is absolutely brilliant! It is really useful to have all the information together and for you to have included references and articles."

"An excellent study day, informative, interesting and relevant. Having a small number of participants was definitely preferable to a large lecture hall of people."

"Well organised and very interesting. The workshops gave an insight into the whole process. I also at last understand MoMs!"

"I wish I had done this course four years ago when I first worked in the ANC. Everyone counselling should attend this course."

link CEPM Homepage link Antenatal Screening Homepage
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ