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Antenatal Clinics

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date his Department's campaign to encourage pregnant women to attend antenatal clinics was started; how much money has been allocated to the campaign; what form the campaign is taking; and if he will make a statement.

Every opportunity is taken of reminding all concerned of the impor- tance of encouraging women to make full use of antenatal service from an early stage in pregnancy. Last autumn we published "Reducing the Risk: Safer Pregnancy and Childbirth" which included advice on the advantages of early antenatal care. Earlier this year we held a conference jointly with the Child Poverty Action Group on "Reaching the Consumer in the Antenatal and Child Health Services", a principal objective of which was to identify problems in persuading women in vulnerable groups to attend antenatal clinics and to consider possible solutions. A number of useful ideas emerged and the report of the conference has been widely circulated. The whole problem of perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity, and the contribution which antenatal and other services can make towards solving this, is one of great concern to me and I am considering what further action it may be possible for me to take.