Procedures, guidelines and reports

These guidelines are for all practitioners involved in aspects of the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme (NMSP), including Lead Maternity Carers (LMC's), hospital midwives, nurses and phlebotomists.

Guidelines for practitioners providing services within the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme in New Zealand February 2010

Hard copies of these guidelines are available from our Publications Centre on (04) 496 2277, Ministry of Health Publications, Sector Operations Contact Centre, Private Bag 3015, Whanganui 4540, or email [email protected]. Please quote: HP4968

Update August 2020

Key changes have taken place with the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme since COVID-19 and further changes are planned for the near future. 

These include: 

  • Sample test cards will be accepted for processing from 24 hours, although the recommended time is still 48 to 72 hours and as close to 48 hours as is feasible. 
  • There will be a change of card colour as new cards are printed from buff to white – keep using old buff cards until new white cards are received and the old stock is used up. 
  • New information will be required on the cards regarding the location where the sample was taken (community or hospital). 
  • Midwives and hospital staff are to ensure that they are receiving all test results within 10 days of a child’s birth and if not, to check that the lab has the sample using the courier track number and call 0800 LABLINK to enquire about sample/result.

For further information contact: Natasha Heather Paediatrician NMSP at [email protected], or Dianne Webster [email protected] or 021 720 705.

Best Practice - Newborn Metabolic Blood Spot Collection learning module

The Best Practice - Newborn Metabolic Blood Spot Collection e-learning module is now available for midwives, and other health professionals, to update and refresh their knowledge and skills on newborn metabolic screening blood spot sample collection. To learn more see Procedures and practices.

In addition to this the other Antenatal and Newborn Screening modules have been updated and will also be available on Learn Online again by mid-November. These are:

  1. Screening Principles and Practice
  2. Quality Improvements in Antenatal Screening for Down syndrome and other conditions (QIASD)
  3. Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme (UNHSEIP)
  4. Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme (NMSP).

Heel pricks – warming, pain relief and lancet use

This paper provides information on best practice for heel warming, pain relief, and lancet use.

Screening for Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders in the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme

This paper provides information about the addition of fatty acid oxidation disorders to the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme in December 2006.

Newborn screening and diagnostic protocol for cystic fibrosis in New Zealand

This paper describes the newborn screening and diagnostic protocol for cystic fibrosis in New Zealand, and was finalised by the NMSP Technical Group in April 2016.

In this section

Page last updated: 10 November 2020