New Poll Shows One Quarter of Young Adults Unaware that UK Guidance is to Avoid Alcohol in Pregnancy
The National Organisation for FASD has launched a campaign targeted at young adults.
4 June 2020
In April-May 2020 NOFAS-UK (now the National Organisation for FASD) engaged OnePoll to conduct two surveys to test awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and to see if the general population knows the national scientific guidance.
OnePoll polled 2000 18-25 year olds across the UK. The results showed that:
26% could not identify the current Chief Medical Officers’ guidance that the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all if pregnant or if you could become pregnant.
80% said if they or a loved one (e.g. a sister or friend) were pregnant, that having the occasional drink of alcohol would not be ok. However, their understanding of WHY this is important is limited.
Only 17% understood that alcohol can cause the most long-term harm to the baby when compared with other substances such as heroin, crack cocaine and smoking.
Only 22% knew that the acronym FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
49% are getting information about these issues from social media, while only 40% are getting if from a teacher and only 36% from a doctor, midwife or nurse.
17 May 2019 Informal Roundtable on Forthcoming NICE Quality Standard on FASD Manchester
NOFAS-UK hosted an informal roundtable on the forthcoming NICE Quality Standard on FASD in the week following the announcement. The discussion was co-chaired by Dr Raja Mukherjee and Sandra Butcher. This took place in the margins of the launch of the Greater Manchester Alcohol Exposed Pregnancies Programme.
Martin Butcher, East Hertfordshire and Area FASD Support Network, introducing a statement on behalf of the FASD UK Alliance;
Pip Williams, on behalf of the UK-EU Birth Mothers Network-FASD;
Brian Roberts, a former virtual school head who discussed Looked After Children, FASD and education;
Andy Jackson, adult with FASD
Main points raised by stakeholders included:
There is an urgent need for Increased awareness, training, information and tracking across all NHS platforms on the full range of the FASD spectrum diagnoses and not just the 10% of those with FASD who have the facial features of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Prevention is key. Support for pregnant women should be framed in ways that help not only decrease the incidence of FASD but also support women in the post-natal by providing access to early diagnosis and support for a child who might have been affected.
To avoid tragic consequences, it is critical to ensure those affected (including adults) have access to FASD diagnosis and related assessments. Looked after children and those who are adopted should all be assessed for FASD and particular attention should be paid to training all professionals in these fields.
Appropriate support is required across the lifespan of those with FASD – it is a lifelong hidden disability arising from organic brain damage due to alcohol exposure in utero. Failure to provide this support can have – and is having – devastating impact. This point was poignantly underscored by contributions from adults with FASD. A strengths-based approach is needed.
FASD should be recognised as the neurodevelopmental disability it is, so all people with FASD no matter what their IQ-level can access services and benefits that are open to others with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Continuing engagement with stakeholders and service users must be a part of finding the way forward.
22 UK adults with FASD shared additional insights for the 22 October 2018 meeting with Deputy Chief Medical Officer Gina Radford