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Better diagnosis of FASD in children needed

An adoptive mother is calling for the NHS to improve its diagnosis for children exposed to alcohol in the womb, so their families can be helped.

Amanda Boorman's two sons have Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) but they were not diagnosed correctly. She said: "This is a brain and body condition that is lifelong so really the professionals need to step up."

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) covers the various health and mental issues which can affect children.

A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said: "We are committed to reducing future cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and we have asked NICE [National Institute for Healthcare Excellence] to produce a Quality Standard in England for FASD to help the health and care system improve diagnosis and care of those affected.

"We have also published England's first Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Health Needs Assessment to improve the lives of families living with it and increase understanding amongst clinicians and policy makers."

Mrs Boorman, from Brent Knoll in Somerset, said: "There's no way an adoptive parent should ever have to go to a chief executive of a hospital and say 'what is your strategy for diagnosing FASD?' What needs to happen is that clinical commissioning groups, the boards of those, chief executives in hospitals, directors of children's services, social care and education need to be much more proactive."

"What we've seen is reactive or just not really knowing - it's complete ignorance."

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Source: BBC News. 7 October 2021



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