2012 FASD Statements by Government, MPs and Peers

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Opposition Day — [8th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 7th November 2012.

Jim ShannonShadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

The hon. Lady touches on the issue of children. Is she aware that children whose lives have been wrecked as a consequence of illicit drug taking and alcohol abuse by their mothers during pregnancy will not be able to claim? Is there not something seriously wrong there?

Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran

 Indeed, a number of categories have simply been taken out of compensation. Jim Shannon mentioned children who have suffered as a result of their parents’ alcohol or drug abuse, particularly by the mother. They will no longer be entitled to compensation, but in the original consultation only those who had suffered from foetal alcohol problems were affected. There has been no consultation whatever on drug abuse, which is also part of the scheme.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121107/debtext/121107-0003.htm#12110785000823


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Education written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what plans he has for education programmes for children with (a) Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and (b) other alcohol-related disabilities; [103009]

(2) what support his Department provides to teachers who teach pupils diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. [103010]

Sarah Teather: The Government have no plans for introducing specific education programmes for children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other alcohol-related disabilities. Decisions about the approaches used to teach children are made by schools.

The Department for Education has, however, funded the development of materials for schools on teaching children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other alcohol-related disabilities. These were produced by Schools Network (formerly the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust) and are available for schools who wish to use them from the Schools Network website:

http://complexld.ssatrust.org.uk/

Online resources that can be used by teachers, trainee teachers and teacher trainers on supporting children with severe and complex needs, including children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other alcohol-related disabilities, have been produced by the Training and Development Agency for Schools. These will be available online during April 2012 from the Department for Education’s website at:

http://www.education.gov.uk

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0004.htm#1204171000238


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps the Government are taking to ensure that doctors are trained to diagnose and treat foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; [102700]

(2) if he will take steps to encourage all medical colleges to include foetal alcohol spectrum disorder education in their curriculum. [102703]

Anne Milton: Although there is a broad consensus on the problems of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, there is not yet full international agreement on exact diagnostic criteria for all the categories currently described. However, general practitioners are expected by the General Medical Council to participate in continuing professional development activities to ensure they remain up-to-date in their practice.

In 2006, the Department announced funding to develop the curriculum for all new United Kingdom doctors in relation to substance misuse. Further funding support was provided in 2008 to assist in implementation of this agreed curriculum in English medical schools. This will help ensure that by 2018, around 600,000 doctors will have been trained to be able to recognise, assess and understand the management of alcohol use and its

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associated health and social problems, and so that in the future doctors can better advise women on the effects of substance use including alcohol, and the impact on foetal and maternal health.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0005.htm#1204174001602


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what education programmes for teenagers the Government have put in place on (a) avoiding alcohol in pregnancy and (b) children with alcohol-related brain damage to prevent foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. [102701]

Anne Milton: All schools must have a sex and relationship education policy. Topics that are covered in the programme, such as avoiding alcohol in pregnancy, are based on helping young people make sensible and informed decisions.

The Government continue to support high quality personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education as a means of ensuring that all children and young people learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Department for Education (DfE) is currently considering responses to its review of PSHE education and will consult on its proposals later this year.

Advice on drinking in pregnancy and possible harmful foetal effects is currently incorporated in departmental public health materials.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0005.htm#1204174001602


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that GPs make referrals for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder diagnosis. [102702]

Anne Milton: The Department has provided funding to develop the curriculum for all new United Kingdom doctors in relation to substance misuse. This will help ensure newly qualified general practitioners are trained to be able to recognise, assess and understand the management of alcohol use and its associated health and social problems.

Although there is a broad consensus on the problems of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, there is not yet full international agreement on exact diagnostic criteria for all the categories currently described. However, general practitioners are expected by the General Medical Council to participate in continuing professional development activities to ensure they remain up-to-date in their practice.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0005.htm#1204174001602


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what programmes he has in place to prevent women giving birth to children with alcohol-related brain damage. [102704]

Anne Milton: Advice on drinking in pregnancy and possible harmful foetal effects is currently incorporated in the Department’s public health materials. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) 2007 guideline also includes recommendations for doctors and midwives on the advice they should give to pregnant women about drinking alcohol.

There are programmes in place for supporting appropriate training and continuing professional development of health care staff, including for medical undergraduate training.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0005.htm#1204174001602


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 16th April 2012.

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Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to inform the public about drinking in pregnancy and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the last year; and what plans he has for such a campaign in the next 12 months. [103008]

Anne Milton: The Change4Life campaign, launched in February, focuses on the health harms from drinking above the lower-risk guidelines.

The Department’s Start4Life campaign is being broadened to incorporate maternal health and will include specific messaging on reducing alcohol consumption.

The Department is also working to make digital advice and information for parents starting from early in pregnancy more accessible and relevant to the stage of pregnancy and age and development of their child.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120416/text/120416w0005.htm#1204174001602


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 28th February 2012.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the potential costs and benefits of the UK’s participation in the World Health Organisation prevalence study into foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; [97245]

(2) what cost-benefit analysis his Department has undertaken in respect of UK participation in the global World Health Authority prevalence study into foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. [97287]

Mr Simon Burns: We are aware that the World Health Organisation plans to undertake a prevalence study into foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The United Kingdom has not been invited to participate in the study. We look forward to the findings from the study into foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in due course.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120228/text/120228w0003.htm#12022880001292


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 28th February 2012.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of (a) the prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders and (b) any difference in approach to diagnosing such conditions between the UK and other countries. [97246]

Mr Simon Burns: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Anne Milton), on 20 January 2012, Official Report, columns 1006-07W, in respect of work commissioned by the Department on research gaps around the prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit’s review of the evidence of foetal effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, published in 2006 as ‘Review of the Fetal Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure’, considered evidence from other countries and the international research evidence base.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120228/text/120228w0003.htm#12022880001292


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 28th February 2012.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason foetal alcohol spectrum disorders are not recognised conditions in the UK. [97249]

Paul Burstow: Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a term used to describe a range of disorders and disabilities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. It is not generally regarded as a single condition, but as an umbrella term that covers several alcohol-related medical conditions.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120228/text/120228w0003.htm#12022880001292


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Health written question – answered on 20th January 2012.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to determine the prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; and what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of (a) prevention strategies and (b) targeted interventions for high-risk groups. [90941]

Anne Milton: In 2005, the Department commissioned the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) to review the evidence of foetal effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. The NPEU published its findings in 2006 as ‘Review of the Fetal Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure’.

The review discussed in detail the difficulties of identifying accurately children with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and alcohol neuro-developmental disorder and the resulting difficulties in estimating prevalence.

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The review considered the risks of foetal exposure to low to moderate alcohol consumption and to binge drinking during pregnancy.

The review found no consistent evidence of adverse effects from low-to-moderate prenatal alcohol consumption, although it also found that the evidence base was limited.

In 2007, UK chief medical officers (CMOs) published revised guidance on alcohol consumption during pregnancy, which took account of the NPEU’s review. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published further guidance on this subject for health professionals in England in 2008.

NPEU’s review identified a number of research gaps, including levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, prevalence of FAS and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), whether a ‘safe’ level of alcohol consumption could be identified, and how to characterise and diagnose neuro-developmental problems in children with FAS and FASD.

Prevention strategies include universal and targeted interventions. Among the former, advice on drinking in pregnancy and possible harmful foetal effects is incorporated in the Department’s public health materials. A warning on drinking alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive, consistent with the UK CMOs’ guidance, will be included on alcohol labels as a result of an industry pledge under the Public Health Responsibility Deal, covering 80% of the off-trade market by the end of 2013.

NICE has published ‘Pregnancy and complex social factors: A model for service provision for pregnant women with complex social factors’ (NICE clinical guideline 110, September 2010). This includes advice on support for pregnant women who misuse substances, whether alcohol or drugs.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120120/text/120120w0002.htm#12012016002876