Although persuasive arguments against routine screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have been made, it is widely but not universally performed as a part of antenatal care. There is no international agreement on methods or criteria used for screening (or for diagnosis), and administered glucose-load methods have significant practical difficulties in a busy antenatal clinic setting. However, recent evidence supports the concept of an increased level of importance being given to a diagnosis of GDM, with interest in the fetal and neonatal origins of adult disease being added to the short-term obstetric and fetal concern during pregnancy. A second generation fructosamine test, corrected for total protein, has been evaluated as a practical alternative to glucose screening for GDM in a busy, multi-ethnic antenatal clinic. This achieved a 79.4% sensitivity and a 77.3% specificity for a diagnosis of GDM confirmed by a glucose tolerance test using Carpenter's modified criteria. In view of the organizational simplicity of this sample/test requirement, a wider evaluation is suggested together with a re-evaluation of clinical outcome criteria rather than blood glucose levels alone.