Services for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The request was partially successful.

Dear South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust,

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.

Background

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.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Butcher

Dear South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Services for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders'.

An answer is long overdue

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Sandra Butcher

Information Governance, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Sandra

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding Foetal Alcohol
Spectrum Disorders.

 

I am very sorry that you have not heard from  our organisation to date.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that ‘What Do They Know’ sent us a
notification of your request last year. As such we were unaware that you
had made a request and were waiting a reply.

 

As a result of the above I have raised feedback with WDTK and asked them
to look into this matter.

 

I have logged your FOI with a received date of yesterday and will start
processing it right away.

 

Once again, I am very sorry for the wait you have experienced to date but
regrettably this appears to have been out of our control.

 

We will deal with this request in accordance with your right of access to
information we hold under the Freedom of Information Act and I attach a
leaflet containing further information about both your rights and our
obligations under this legislation. You will see from this that we are not
obliged to generate information we do not already hold in order to provide
what we are asked for, such as by collating data or formulating direct
answers to questions, but you are entitled to receive copies of records
(or extracts from them) that contain the information you have requested.

 

We will research the information you have requested and we will respond
providing what we hold no later than 23/5/19 in accordance with the
timescales set by the Act.

 

We will inform you if:

a) We are unable to provide you with any of the information you have
requested, and explain the reason for this; and

b) Any fee that is payable for the information we are able to provide.

 

In the meantime, if you have any queries or require clarification on any
aspect of your request or how we will respond, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

Kind regards

 

Clare Lunk | Assistant Information Governance Manager

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

[1]cid:[email address]

 

Direct Line 01392 261 603

Web [2]www.swast.nhs.uk

E-Mail [3][email address]

Abbey Court, Eagle Way, Exeter EX2 7HY

References

Visible links
2. http://www.swast.nhs.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

Information Governance, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Sandra

 

I refer to our acknowledgement on 25/4/19 in respect of your request for
information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  

 

Once again I would like to apologise that our team were unaware of your
request until recently and to assure you that this issue has been picked
up with the relevant parties concerned.

 

We are able to provide the following information (due to a known
formatting issue with the WDTK website a PDF of our response is also
attached for you)

 

Information requested Trust response
1. Copies of any policies that the Trust has on We do not have any
the prevention of FASD, and on the diagnosis specific policies relating
and post-diagnostic care pathway for patients to FASD.
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 We can confirm that
Trust provided for FASD for information of this nature
a. prevention education following the 2016 is not captured on any of
Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines that the our systems.
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 This question is not
Trust who currently provide diagnostic and/or applicable to our Trust as
post-diagnostic services for FASD? Please an ambulance service.
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 Although there is no
personnel in your Trust on FASD, or provided by specific training provided
others and accessed by your personnel. to staff relating to FASD,
‘Active Health’ promotion
  does form part of a
clinician’s duties.
‘Active Health’ involves
promoting positive
lifestyle choices when
treating patients such as
smoking cessation, dietary
advice, and pregnancy
advice to expectant
mothers not to drink
alcohol.

 

You may also be interested
to learn that when an
ambulance service is
attending to a patient the
Electronic Care System we
use gives clinicians
contact information from
local Drug & Alcohol
support services in the
area if required.

 
5. Information you hold on whether your Trust We do not hold data in
sends patients for FASD diagnosis to the respect of this question
National FASD Clinic in Surrey however can confirm that
([1]https://www.fasdclinic.com/)? Did your it is extremely unlikely.
refer any patients to the National FASD Clinic As an ambulance service we
in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and in would typically refer a
2018, and if so, how many in each year? patient to their own GP in
the first instance for any
  onward, non-emergency care
needs they may have.
6. What was your budget for services for FASD This question is not
in each financial year since that starting in applicable to our Trust as
2013 and including the current financial year? an ambulance service.

 
7. Please provide copies of any agreed plans This question is not
you have to expand the budget or services in applicable to our Trust as
coming years. an ambulance service.

 

 

Please note that, under the Re-use of Public Sector Information
Regulations, if you wish to publish or otherwise use this information
besides for your own means, you will need to seek our permission to do so.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you require further clarification of the
information provided, or to discuss any aspect of the way in which we have
responded to your request. 

However, if you are dissatisfied with our response, you also have the
right to make use of the following complaints procedures:

 

In the first instance you may write to the Chief Executive of this Trust

 

Mr Ken Wenman

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Abbey Court

Eagle Way

Exeter  EX2 7HY

 

Mr Wenman will then either make arrangements for your complaint to be
reviewed and for the outcome to be communicated to you, or will convene a
panel of Trust Directors to consider an appeal against a decision to
withhold information.

 

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, or findings of the
Panel, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,                                 

Wilmslow,

Cheshire.  SK9 5AF

 

Tel: 01625 545 700

Fax: 01625 524 510

 

Kind regards

 

Clare Lunk | Assistant Information Governance Manager

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

[2]cid:[email address]

 

Direct Line 01392 261 603 

Web [3]www.swast.nhs.uk

E-Mail [4][email address]

Abbey Court, Eagle Way, Exeter EX2 7HY

References

Visible links
1. https://www.fasdclinic.com/)?
3. http://www.swast.nhs.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]