§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will establish a national plan for the prevention of spasticity and related handicaps; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The Department encourages health authorities to maintain the highest possible standards of care for mothers and babies before, during and after delivery. Parents also have a responsibility in this matter and we aim to encourage expectant mothers to do all they can themselves by way of regular attendance at ante-natal clinics and in following advice offered on such matters as genetic counselling, diet, smoking and vaccination against rubella.
I am advised that spasticity is caused by a multiplicity of factors, and, whilst the aetiology of some forms of spasticity and handicap are known, in many cases it is as yet impossible to determine their cause. The results of the considerable body of research currently in both Medical Research Council and departmental programmes should help towards the prevention of spastic disorders.