Current UK NSC recommendations > Congenital hypothyroidism

The UK NSC recommendation on Congenital hypothyroidism screening in newborns (currently under review)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Jun 2014 and is estimated to be completed by Dec 2017.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme recommended
Key downloads

Evidence to support continuation or cessation of existing screening programmes should be reviewed regularly. The process for this is currently being revised, which is why this topic does not currently have a review date. The new process will be published in due course. Each programme has an active portfolio of research, evidence and audit to support continual improvement. Find out more about congenital hypothyroidism screening, part of the newborn blood spot screening programme in England.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about Congenital hypothyroidism

Underactivity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can arise for a number of reasons. Hypothyroidism can occur in newborn infants (Congenital Hypothyroidism, CHT) as well as later on in childhood (acquired Hypothyroidism, AHT). Affected newborns look, and usually act, normal for the first few days and the national screening programme for CHT, by blood spot collection, ensures that affected infants are identified and treated as early as possible. The commonest cause of CHT is a poorly developed or absent thyroid gland; the underlying basis to this abnormality is only clear in a small proportion of cases. CHT can also occur if there is a defect in thyroxine production within the gland. These defects may be permanent or transient. Although every child with CHT should be started on thyroxine promptly, they should be evaluated at some time later to exclude a transient problem. Children with CHT do very well as adults in the long-term, as long as they receive adequate thyroxine replacement.

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


British Association of Perinatal Medicine
British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes
British Thyroid Association
Faculty of Public Health
Genetic Alliance UK
Institute of Child Health
International Society for Neonatal Screening
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Save Babies Through Screening Foundation UK

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Screening for Congenital Hypothyroidism (PDF document, 757KB, 06/04/10)

More options

Go to top