Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

08 Nov 2012

John Mason MSP (Glasgow Shettleston) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government  how many people are known to have fetal alcohol syndrome.


Mr Michael Matheson MSP (Minister for Public Health): National information derived from routine data collection relating to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is considered to be incomplete at present. Information is collected from systems which capture data relating to the health of babies shortly after they are born. Data are also available from inpatient or day-case admissions and also from the Child Health Surveillance Programme.

However, a diagnosis of FAS may not be obvious at the time of birth, and the only definitive diagnosis may be made as an outpatient and hence not available nationally.

A national surveillance programme for FAS has been in place since January 2010, funded by the Chief Scientist Office and Scottish Government for four years. In the first two full years of operation, this surveillance programme has identified
40 children under the age of six with FAS.