HC Deb 03 March 1981 vol 1000 cc122-3
14. Mr. Shersby

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the extent of co-operation between the Health Education Council and the British Nutrition Foundation.

Sir George Young

A joint committee which brings together the nutritional expertise and facilities of the Health Education Council and British Nutrition Foundation, and includes representatives from the Department and other interested groups, started work in 1979 and has examined a number of nutritional issues. I understand that its constitution is at present under review.

Mr. Shersby

Will my hon. Friend consider urgently the possibility of arranging for the Health Education Council to subcontract to the British Nutrition Foundation its responsibilities for nutrition education? Will he accept that there is an opportunity to mobilise the considerable amount of expertise within the British Nutrition Foundation to do that important job?

Sir George Young

It would be difficult to subcontract wholly what has to be an integral part of health education. I am interested in a more positive partnership between the two bodies. I am pleased that they are now working on a number of nutrition topics and plan to issue guidance on several subjects.

Mr. Carter-Jones

Does the Minister accept that both the organisations would agree on the need for pregnant women to have adequate food? Will he consider providing additional resources for women at risk, in order to reduce perinatal mortality and handicap?

Sir George Young

The Government have responded to the Select Committee's report on perinatal mortality. They responded to those specific recommendations.