PREGNANT women in Huddersfield are being offered new screening tests.
Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia are now among the antenatal tests mums-to-be can opt for.
The tests were previously only offered in large cities including Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield.
But from September, the screening has been rolled out to include Huddersfield and other parts of the Yorkshire region.
Linda Hill, clinical service manager for community midwifery at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the new programme.
She said: “The extended screening programme is now available to all women in Huddersfield as part of mainstream ante-natal care.”
Midwives work with families to complete a family origin questionnaire to determine their need for the screening.
Sickle cell primarily affects people from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds and can cause pain and organ damage.
Thalassaemia is more prominent in people with Mediterranean or Asian roots and causes weight loss and increases the chances of infections.
Paul Johnston, NHS Yorkshire and the Humber’s director of public health, said: “Newborn testing is vital so those affected can benefit from treatment from birth to prevent symptoms.
“It is also important to identify children who may be carriers of the gene as it may influence their future reproductive life.
“The screening is followed up with expert advice, support and counselling.
“The extension of antenatal screening, from just large cities to offering testing to relevant pregnant woman throughout the whole region, will help identify more individuals who need further information and allow them to make care choices during their pregnancy.”
For more information about screening visit www.screening.nhs.uk