Dear NHS Providers,
I am writing as a volunteer researcher for the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK (www.nofas-uk.org) to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. I am working in cooperation with an ad hoc group of leaders from the organisation and other experts to frame and shape this research project and to analyse the information we receive.
In February 2017, Lord Boateng asked the government “what assessment they have made of the measures adopted in Scotand which provide guidance and support for children and young adults affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders.” Lord O’Shaughnessy replied that “Early intervention services can help reduce some of the effects of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and prevent some of the secondary disabilities that result. Responsibility for commissioning these services lies with clinical commissioning groups. [Hansard, Written Question HL5052, 10 February 2017. https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi...
This government policy was reiterated in July 2017 when Lord Campbell-Savours asked the government “what support they are providing for persons whose condition has been described as foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.” [Hansard, Written Question HL500 and Written Answer, 18 July 2017, https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi... In response, Lord O’Shaughnessy for the government wrote that “It is recognised that Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) can have a significant impact on the early development of children, their behaviours and their life chances. Early intervention services can help reduce some of the effects of FASD and prevent some of the secondary disabilities that result. Responsibility for commissioning these services lies with clinical commissioning groups.” This was again repeated on 8 May 2018 by Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-secretary at the Department of Health and Social Care. [Hansard, Written Question 139045, 8 May 2018. https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi...
The following conditions fall under the Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) umbrella: Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD), Foetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS)) or neurodevelopmental disorders linked to prenatal alcohol exposure (NDPAE)
Request for Information
In light of the above information I would like to ask you to provide:
1) Copies of any policies that the Trust has on the prevention of FASD, and on the diagnosis and post-diagnostic care pathway for patients with an FASD. Also your policy on the training of Trust personnel to manage patients with FASD.
2) Any information you hold on services your Trust provided for FASD for
a. prevention education following the 2016 Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines that the safest course is not to drink while pregnant or attempting to become pregnant;
b. diagnosis for both children and adults;
c. post-diagnostic care in the financial years beginning 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
3) Information on the number of Doctors in your Trust who currently provide diagnostic and/or post-diagnostic services for FASD? Please provide their names and posts. Whether your Trust employs specifically trained professionals, including but not limited to nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, to provide specialised services for patients on the FASD spectrum? If so, in what specialties, and how many? Please provide their names and posts.
4) Information on training provided to personnel in your Trust on FASD, or provided by others and accessed by your personnel.
5) Information you hold on whether your Trust sends patients for FASD diagnosis to the National FASD Clinic in Surrey (https://www.fasdclinic.com/)? Did your refer any patients to the National FASD Clinic in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and in 2018, and if so, how many in each year?
6) What was your budget for services for FASD in each financial year since that starting in 2013 and including the current financial year?
7) Please provide copies of any agreed plans you have to expand the budget or services in coming years.
If you are considering rejecting this request on the grounds of the costs of responding exceeding the statutory limits then please respond to as many of the numbered items as possible within the limit, in the order they have been presented.
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