Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


 A colleague sent a presentation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) given by Dr Maggie Watts at a meeting of NHS Lothian staff.  


The central message of the presentation is that problems / deficits caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy are common, expensive to manage and preventable. The slides outline what FAS is, what the implications are for children damaged by alcohol in the womb, and how children with this can be managed. Dr Watts also makes a number of reccomendation about how services can get better at preventing, detecting and managing this problem.

Dr Maggie Watts is the Fetal Alchol Spectrum Disorder co-ordinator for Scottish Government with a responsiblity to :-

•To lead the development and implementation of FASD strategy for Scotland
–Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
–Surveillance and early detection
–Diagnosis and management
–Long term care
•Ensure FASD prevention is embedded in emerging and existing policies
•Ensure support for families affected by FASD

The last slide has the following links for further information





Dads2be & Pre-Conception Health Advice

One of the reports in my post holiday ‘to read’ file is a short briefing from Children in Scotland on pre-conception health. This is aimed at Scotland’s quarter of a million children and young peoples workforce. Its short, written in plain English, and with lots of references if you want more detail. Discussing this briefing at a team meeting would be an easy way for managers to contribute to the prevention / early intervention agenda.

EYPP Briefing — Preconception Health 511[1]

Looking at the Children in Scotland website I noticed that the new Dads2Be resource is now available. This is a resource for professionals involved in ante-natal education to provide advice and support tailored to the needs of Dads ante-natally.

You can view the resource on the  Children in Scotland website.

Contact kallen@childreninscotland.org.uk, 0131 222 2440 or scollier@childreninscotland.org.uk, 0131 222 2412 for more information and/or CD Rom copies of the Dads2b Resource (FREE while stocks last).

Alcohol Pricing

The Scotsman newspaper today reports on the election manifesto pledge of the SNP to deliver a minimum price per unit of alcohol in Scotland.


A previous post – Untold Damage – looked at research highlighting the damage that is done to children in Scotland through excessive alcohol consumption.

I don’t think this policy measure can come soon enough for Scotland’s children.

The time is right – it seems to me that most people in Scotland now understand that our relationship to alcohol is a problem that needs to be addressed.

The previous debates about alcohol pricing, and an increasing awareness of Scotland’s public health problems has contributed to this  mood for change, as has the consistent message from high profile policemen like John Carnochan. For people like John Carnochan who see the fall out from cheap drink (as well as the under investment in early years) changing  the stack it high and sell it cheap culture is a no brainer. Its something that we have got to do, and then move on to all the other things that need to be done if we are to have an impact on the carnage of lost life, trauma and damaged well being that is all to easy to find in Scotland.

Lets get it done and move on.

Acceptance Feedback

Acceptance – written and performed by Lisa Nichol is a play about the pressures on young women that can lead to alcohol misuse and the issues that this can raise for young women..

 “This is a play that touches upon many of the issues that affect women like Scarlet today and conveys in a genuine and meaningful way the emotional and social dilemmas and the pressure people in today’s society face to fit in.” David Shaw – Glasgow Council on Alcohol

Support from the Start worked with Queen Margaret Univeristy to bring this performance to East Lothian as part of a ‘civic conversation’ on health and tackling health inequality. The performnces helped to raise awareness of alcohol as a health and well being issue, and each one was followed by discussion the ouput from which is given below.

The play is not a health education message against alcohol abuse, rather an honest portrayl of the issues alcohol can create in a young womans life. From the comment below I think it touched a cord for many people presnt. The Tranent performance was attend between 50 and 60 people – all women bar myself. The Musselburgh performance had a much smaller audience of 15, but was followed by a lively discussion and some good contacts were made.

Here is the feedback provided after the performances of the Acceptance play in Tranent Town Hall on Thursday 14th May and in the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh on Wednesday 20th May


For more information on Lisa Nichol folow this link


acceptance poster