16 Mar

Today is the day …. Change Is Coming  

So today (March 16th, 2022) the NICE Quality Standard for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is launched for England and Wales, based on what already exists in Scotland. 

We have passed a tipping point and there is no going back now. All official health bodies are aligned to start to provide meaningful advice, assessment and support for those affect by FASD. 

Old, ill-informed but vocal arguments about there not being enough evidence for the existence of FASD, about what actually causes the condition, about dangers of educating the population about the harm that prenatal alcohol exposure can cause and the false premise that seeking an assessment will in some way damage those affected have been lost and should be banished to history. 

The country believes that FASD is real and is acknowledged as presenting communities with significant challenges moving forward. The pathway to address FASD is starting to appear based on training, education, informed assessment, multi-agency working support, stigma free language and being guided by lived experience. 

It’s a really strange feeling that we have managed to come this far from that night in September 2003 when Maureen and I started to learn about FASD. 

The last 2 years have been full on working with a dedicated team of colleagues nationally to be in the best place today to move best practice into next practice. I’d like to formally thank everyone who has contributed and there are hundreds of you. 

Today is the day that your contributions have made the impact we have all wanted for so long. So thank you. 

It is also important to acknowledge Pip Williams who started the journey by guiding many of us but sadly didn’t make it to this point. A point where she should have been so proud of the contribution she made. 

It could be thought that we have just arrived at the starting point, but there is a mass of up to date UK based radical thinking and developments poised to swing into action to support the Quality Standard. 

The next frontier… adults with FASD and making the transition to the complex world of adults when you are a teen. 

But let’s celebrate today we have come so far. 

#NICEFASDQS #ChangeIsComing 

Please see the full Quality Standard here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs204

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