Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Health written question – answered on 12th December 2011.
12 Dec 2011 : Column 550W
Business of the House
– in the House of Commons at 11:32 am on 24th November 2011.
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) (Lab): Research reported last week has found that 10,000 babies are born each year damaged by smoking and the consumption of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. Some 6,000 of those babies are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Is it not time for the Government to make a statement on and bring forward proposals to deal with this tragic situation?
Sir George Young: The Government are very anxious to drive down perinatal and antenatal mortality and we have taken a number of measures already to promote public health. The Health and Social Care Bill, which is now going through the House, will, I hope, make some progress in that direction. I will bring the hon. Gentleman’s suggestion to the attention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and ask whether there is more we can do to diminish the number of babies who are born damaged or, sadly, die because of excess alcohol consumption by their mother.
– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 14th March 2011.
A four-year surveillance research project of the epidemiology of Foetal AlcoholSyndrome in Scotland, for which the Scottish Government is providing funding, began on 1 April 2010. The findings and analysis of the results will be published in a scientific paper at the end of the project in 2014. We would anticipate that the results will also be presented to the Scottish Paediatric Society, the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Neonatal Society, and the British Association for Community Child Health, the Royal College of Paediatrics Research and the European Society of Paediatric Research.
“Report on preventative spending”
– in the Scottish Parliament on 9th March 2011.
In the health service, some good examples were given of preventative spending around pregnancy, such as the importance of preventing foetal alcohol syndrome by ensuring that women who may get pregnant understood the risks, and the importance of taking folic acid.
– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 8th February 2011.
To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made in establishing the (a) incidence and (b) prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
An expert clinician, Dr Maggie Watts, Public Health Consultant with Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board has been appointed to help develop a policy on addressing foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. This will be developed in partnership with policy colleagues from across the Scottish Government and will focus mainly on the prevention of alcohol exposed pregnancies.
The Scottish Government is funding a four-year surveillance research project in children under six years of age to estimate the incidence and epidemiology of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. The project is being carried out by the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.