The NEPTUNE study
Understanding and improving prenatal screening in Wales


NEPTUNE is a study being conducted by researchers from Cardiff University, and is currently recruiting participants. The main aim of NEPTUNE is to understand how a new blood test used during pregnancy, called NIPT (or non-invasive prenatal testing), is being delivered and received in Wales. Research midwives and researchers are now recruiting people onto the study from various locations including NHS midwifery services, private clinics, social media, and the HealthWise Wales project.

If you have been pregnant in Wales on or after 1st April 2018 (or be the partner of someone who has), are over 18 years old, and are able to communicate in English you may be able to take part.

Download NEPTUNE study documents

Why is this research being done?

Wales was the first UK country to introduce NIPT into the NHS at a national level. It is also available in private clinics. Because it is new, we don’t have much information on what women, their partners, and healthcare providers think about the test, or how it is being used and spoken about in everyday practice. To understand more, the NEPTUNE study team will be speaking with a wide range of people, including pregnant people, their partners, midwives, and other healthcare professionals involved in the delivery of NIPT.

What would participation involve?

NEPTUNE participants may take part in several activities:

  • A research interview asking about experiences of pregnancy and prenatal care (conducted online, with an experienced member of the study team).
  • An online survey asking about experiences of pregnancy and prenatal care (survey participants can enter a prize draw to win high street vouchers).
  • A series of online workshops where we will discuss results and consider how care may be improved.

NEPTUNE has been designed to protect privacy and confidentiality, and give participants control over their involvement. If you choose to participate:

  • You may be invited to take part in several activities, but you can say yes to as many or as few as you wish
  • You are free to leave the study at any point, without giving a reason
  • All of the information we gather will be securely stored at the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University
  • Your identity will be protected - all information, including that used in reports or publications, will remain anonymous

Full details are provided in the NEPTUNE Participant Information Sheet, which can be viewed or downloaded here

I would like to participate or learn more, what should I do?

  1. View or download the NEPTUNE participant information sheet, consent form and study summary
  2. Share your contact details with the study team, so they can get in touch
  3. Contact the study team via with any outstanding questions
  4. Contact the study lead (Dr Heather Strange) directly via or (+44) 02922 510474