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Neonatal Intensive Care

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department has considered the statement contained in the issue of The Lancet for 21 November by Fiona J. Stanley and Sue Atkinson on the impact of neonatal intensive care on cerebral palsy in infants of low birthweight; if there is any action he will be taking; and if he will make a statement.

In their reply to the second report from the Social Services Committee—Cmnd. 8084—the Government drew attention to

"evidence that intensive care practised with less than the optimum level of equipment and expertise can lead to a high incidence of handicap among survivors".
The letter in

The Lancet quoted by the right hon. Member seems to offer additional evidence of this. The Department is giving financial support to an international meeting of experts, to be held under the auspices of the National Birthday Trust Fund in March 1982, on

"the effects of perinatal care on morbidity and handicap in childhood",

and we hope that valuable guidance will emerge from the discussions at this meeting.