I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Has his attention been drawn to allegations that lethal doses of the sedative DF 118 have been administered to newly born handicapped children? If so, what action does he propose to take on that matter, which is of great concern to those of us who are intensly interested in the handicapped from birth onwards?
There is already a wide range of services available from the statutory agencies, including multi-disciplinary assessments, treatment and advice. I shall gladly look into the matter if the hon. Gentleman will tell me what he has in mind.
While acknowledging that there has been an overall improvement in the perinatal mortality rates, may I ask whether the Minister is aware that there are still substantial regional variations? With regard to the care of neonates, will the Minister take the advice offered by the Select Committee chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) and consider multi-disciplinary analysis of the needs of the handicapped neonates?
Yes, that is a very important part of our programme for helping newly born handicapped children. This is now one of the most important current developments in paediatric care, and one which I think all hon. Members will want to see developed further.