§ Mr. Cohen
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will estimate the number of pregnant women entitled to free vitamins; what is the current take-up level; if he has any plans to publicise the right to those vitamins; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what is the number of pregnant women entitled to milk vouchers; what is the current take-up level; if he has any plans to publicise the right to these vouchers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
No information is available on which to base estimates of the number of pregnant women entitled to free welfare milk vouchers and free welfare vitamins and therefore no estimates of take-up can be made. The number of expectant mothers in receipt of free welfare milk and vitamins on a date in December for each of the years 1981 and 1982 is shown in the table. Data for 1983 are not yet available.
The availability of free welfare milk and vitamins is publicised in the Department's leaflet MV11 "Free Milk and Vitamins" which incorporates a claims form and is available from post offices, local social security offices, citizens advice bureaux and maternity and child health clinics, and also in leaflet FB8 "Babies and Benefits".
Number of Expectant Mothers in Receipt of Free Welfare Milk and Vitamins Great Britain 1981 1982 Grounds of Award:— Supplementary Benefit 21,000 29,000 Low Income 4,000 5,000 Family Income Supplement n/a n/a
Note: The numbers in the table have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
§ Mr. John Patten
Health professionals engaged in the antenatal care of expectant mothers should give them individual advice on their dietary needs. The Health Education Council, which is funded by the Government, has published a "Pregnancy Book" which contains valuable advice to expectant mothers on their health during pregnancy, including advice on diet. This book is available free on demand.