New initiative revealed to improve care for people exposed to alcohol in the womb

HEALTH watchdog NICE has revealed a ‘landmark’ initiative today to vastly improve the care of those exposed to alcohol in the womb.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects around three per cent of the UK population – three times as many as autism – yet more than half of Brits (53 per cent) have NEVER heard of it.

FASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that arises from alcohol exposure in the womb with 428 conditions linked to ‘devastating consequences’ from brain damage to physical and developmental issues.

Today, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that any child thought to have been exposed should be given an assessment.

Any child confirmed to have been exposed should be sent for a neurodevelopmental assessment and those confirmed to have FASD should be given a management plan for their needs.

It also said women should be given early advice not to drink in their pregnancy and have their alcohol consumption noted on records. 

Read more on birth

Pregnant women will have SINGLE glass of wine recorded on medical notes

Kylie goes makeup-free & admits it’s been ‘hard mentally’ after son’s birth

This is part of a 20-year-fight by campaigners and families living with FASD who feel they’ve been largely ‘unsupported’. 

The spokesperson for National Organisation for FASD, Joanna Buckard, said: “The NICE Quality Standard is a major leap forward in the fight to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies by giving women the information and support they need and vitally to create brighter futures for those with FASD and their families. 

“Too many people with FASD up to now have been left undiagnosed and unsupported with sometimes devastating and avoidable consequences.”

Professor Raja Mukherjee, who heads the FASD National Specialist Clinic and was on the NICE Quality Standard Committee, said: “FASD is a complex condition which affects brain and body. 

Most read in Health


The 8-hour sleep rule 'is a MYTH' – here's how much sleep you might really need


UK daily Covid cases rise by 77% in a week with 109,802 new infections


The 5 early signs of stomach cancer to know as Kelis' husband dies of illness


My 28H boobs gave me migraines but doctors wouldn't help

“There are over 428 conditions linked to FASD, and it presents in multiple ways.   

“But in terms of recognition, we’re about 20 years behind other conditions like autism or ADHD. 

“I hope it does not take so long going forward to implement the improvements outlined in the NICE Quality Standard and make the real difference that people with FASD deserve.”

Despite 2.4 million people thought to have FASD in the UK compared to the 1 million people estimated to be living with autism – the majority of Brits (66 per cent) have heard of autism. 

A third (32 per cent) who knew about FASD didn't know how many people were living with it while 46 per cent estimated the figures to be lower than it is. 

It comes as research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of the National Organisation for FASD found nearly a quarter of adults think it’s ok to have alcohol during pregnancy – which goes against the Chief Medical Officer's advice that it is safest to avoid it.

Jan Griffin from Surrey, whose son Rossi, 20 has FASD opened up about her experience. 

She said: “I didn’t have any issues with alcohol, I was just an ordinary 40-year-old woman living my best life as it were.

“Had anybody said to me, when I was thinking of having a sleeping tablet or a tot of brandy to de-stress, ‘did you know alcohol kills cells as they migrate in the baby?’ I’d have sat up and made different decisions.

“I wish someone had said – this is what happens, these are the facts, the choice is yours, you’re not being judged.

“We cannot change the history of FASD but with this long-awaited NICE Quality Standard we WILL change futures.”

Rossi said: “I’m very forgetful, oftentimes I have trouble socialising and sometimes it’s a comfort issue – I may get back or leg pains."

Read More on The Sun

A stranger parked a Range Rover on our drive for FOUR DAYS and cops did nothing

McDonald’s is bringing back popular menu item TODAY and there’s a new flavour

Clare Devanney-Glynn, adoptive mum to three with FASD who also sat on the NICE Quality Standard Committee said: “Thanks to this – my children and others just like them will be able to enter adulthood being understood by society in a way that just hasn’t ever happened before. 

“This has the capacity to change what our entire society looks like for the better.”

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?

Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours

Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks.

    Source: Read Full Article