Objectives: To document current practice of communicating screen negative results to pregnant women undergoing a test for Down's syndrome.
Setting: 169 British NHS hospital antenatal clinics currently offering multiple marker serum screening for Down's syndrome and giving results directly to women.
Methods: All 169 clinics were sent a letter asking about the method and form of communicating screen negative results.
Results: In only 29% of programmes were specific arrangements made to inform women of screen negative results, and in 5% these results were not given at all. Screen negative results were given as a verbal phrase in 44% of programmes, as a risk figure in 16% of programmes and as both in 40% of programmes.
Conclusions: These results highlight a gap between screening policy guidelines and practice in the case of Down's syndrome serum screening.