All newborn babies in England will be offered screening for four additional rare genetic disorders.

Public Health England says that its NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme has been expanded for the following rare, but potentially disabling conditions: homocystinuria, maple syrup urine disease, glutaric aciduria type 1 and isovaleric acidaemia. Anne Mackie, head of the NHS screening programmes, said that such testing has the potential to benefit around 30 children in England each year, adding that “early identification of these conditions can prevent death and significantly improve…quality of life”.

The test will be performed using the same blood test that babies currently have at five to eight days old. This sample is already used to test for five conditions - phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.