§ Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to encourage women from the lower socio-economic groups to seek and obtain antenatal care earlier in their pregnancy in order to improve their general health and nutritional state and contribute to the avoidance of a proportion of congenitally-handicapped infants born to such mothers.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
It is our policy to encourage women from all socio-economic groups to seek antenatal care as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed. The maternity services advisory committee is carrying out. at our request, a detailed assessment of antenatal care, including means of encouraging clinic attendance; and we have given the Health Education Council £460,000 for the financial year 1982–83 to continue its "Mother and Baby" campaign, which emphasises the benefits of seeking antenatal care early in pregnancy.