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Maternity Services

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many newborn babies experienced methadone withdrawal in the latest period for which figures are available; and what treatments are used in the NHS for the symptoms of withdrawal. (321304)

Data on the number of babies born with neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of illicit or therapeutic drugs are collected, but are not broken down by type of drug.

In 2008-09, 1,233 babies were born with neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of illicit or therapeutic drugs.1

The Department and the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse have issued guidance to the national health service to ensure that mothers in this situation are supported and monitored, and the health needs of the baby assessed to minimise any health risks.

Additionally, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is in the process of producing clinical guidelines for pregnant women with complex social factors, including substance misuse problems.

Source:

1 Hospital Episode Statistics, The Information Centre for health and social care