HC Deb 15 July 1985 vol 83 c53W
Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to which malformations and handicaps (a) are and (b) are not, usually detected within the first seven days of birth; and if he will specify the proportion of cases in each category.

Mr. John Patten

Notifications of congenital malformations to live and still births recognised within seven days of birth are made to district health authorities on a voluntary basis, and are forwarded to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.

It is not possible from the national scheme to indicate with any reliability the proportions of all malformations which are notified, nor to give any information on handicap.

Most defects are liable to be underreported. Major conditions frequently not detected in the, first seven days after birth include those affecting hearing and vision, the cardiovascular system, and genetic and chromosomal abnormalities (including Down's syndrome). A fuller discussion of the likely extent of detection of each group of malformation is given in chapter 3 of "Congenital Malformation Statistics: notifications 1971–1980 Series MB 3 no. 1", copies of which are in the Library.