NICE quality standard to improve diagnosis and assessment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
on 17 March 2022
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new quality standard to improve the diagnosis and assessment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
The quality standards highlight five key areas of improvement:
- Pregnant women are given advice throughout their pregnancy not to drink alcohol
- Pregnant women are asked about their alcohol use throughout pregnancy and this is recorded
- Children and young people with possible prenatal alcohol exposure are referred for assessment
- Children and young people with confirmed prenatal alcohol exposure or all three facial features associated with prenatal alcohol exposure have a neurodevelopmental assessment if there are any clinical concerns
- Children and young people with a diagnosis of FASD have a management plan to address their needs.
The quality standards have been amended following a consultation where a recommendation that a woman’s alcohol consumption should be included on a child’s medical records has been removed.
Director of NICE’s centre for guidelines, Dr Paul Chrisp, said: “We know children and young people with FASD often have a poorer quality of life and must overcome some incredibly difficult challenges in their daily lives.
“This quality standard aims to improve the diagnosis and care offered to children and young people with FASD as well as ensuring that women are given consistent advice about their alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
“FASD is a series of preventable birth mental and physical birth defects associated with alcohol use during pregnancy. Helping women to drink less or no alcohol during their pregnancy will reduce the number of children and young people affected FASD.”
The quality standard was published Wednesday 16th March 2022 and can be accessed on the NICE website here.