The screening pathway

A screening test is carried out on people who do not have any symptoms but are perceived to be at risk of a particular disease. It predicts the likelihood of someone having or developing a particular disease.

Screening is far more than just having a mammogram, cervical smear test, hearing test, blood test, or other check.

Those who would benefit from screening are offered the opportunity to take part in a screening programme. This may be the person who will be screened, or in the case of a baby, their parent or caregiver.

The screening test is then carried out on the individual. This may mean going to a clinic or surgery, or in the case of babies, the test may be carried out in hospital or at home. After the screening takes place, some babies or adults may be offered further tests.

Page last updated: 22 November 2014