HC Deb 27 February 2003 vol 400 cc700-1W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidences of drug misuse by maternity patients there have been in England since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [98467]

Ms Blears

The information requested is not available centrally. Information on numbers entering drug treatment services is available, via the national drug treatment monitoring system. This provides a breakdown by gender, but does not identify maternity patients as a separate group. Information on the number of women entering drug treatment services can be found from the statistical bulletin "Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases on drug misusers in treatment in England, 2000/01", published in December 2001 at http://www.doh.gov.uk/pubNc/sb0133.htm.

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) provide information about maternity in national health service hospitals. No data is collected relating to the provision of ante natal services.

Maternity data is available at http://www.doh.gov.uk/ public/sbQ211.htm.

Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to help pregnant women who are addicted to drugs; and if he will make a statement. [98468]

Ms Blears

Pregnant women are considered a priority group and are therefore fast tracked into treatment.

Midwives provide the majority of care for pregnant mothers as well as advice and support on healthy lifestyles including substance misuse.

If a woman, as part of her ante natal care, is assessed as requiring treatment for drug misuse she will be referred to appropriate drug treatment services.

Obstetric and substance misuse services exist throughout the country. The Department of Health's "Drug Misuse and Dependence—Guidelines on Clinical Management" (Clinical Guidelines) recommends the following: Different approaches have been tried to deliver care to pregnant drug misusers, such as specialist midwives, or drug dependence staff attached to the antenatal clinic. Each method should try to involve the primary health care team, particularly if prescribing substitute medication. The type of service in each area will depend on local circumstances, the number of pregnant drug misusers presenting for care, expertise of the obstetric and primary care services, and availability of specialist or shared-care support.

Further information is available at http://www.doh.gov.uk/drugs/pdfs/dmfull.pdf.

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