Current UK NSC recommendations > Congenital cataracts

The UK NSC recommendation on Congenital cataract screening in newborns

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme recommended
Last review completed July 2006
Next review due in n/a
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 newborn and infant physical examination screening in England.

Screening for congenital cataract, other media opacities and anatomical abnormalities are part of the physical examination of newborn babies and again at 6-8 weeks.


A Programme Centre has been set up in England and all aspects of the examination are being reviewed.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about Congenital cataracts

About two hundred children a year are born in the UK with opacity of the lens of one or both eyes - a cataract.

Most children born with cataracts are otherwise healthy and many will have other family members born with cataract. However, in some cases, cataract is a sign of a syndrome (such as Down's syndrome).

If cataract is the only abnormality of the eye and the child is treated within the first few months of life, the prognosis for vision is good.

» Read more about congenital cataracts on NHS Choices

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

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.

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