Drugs: Babies

Health written question – answered on 15th May 2009.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many babies were born with a diagnosed addiction to drugs (a) in each year since 1997 and (b) in each primary care trust area in the last year for which figures are available;

(2) how many babies received treatment for (a) drug addiction and (b) alcohol problems arising from their mother's use of such substances during pregnancy (i) in each year since 1997 and (ii) in each primary care trust area in the last year for which figures are available.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

Data on the number of babies treated for alcohol problems arising from their mother's use of alcohol are not collected centrally.

The following tables show the number of finished consultant episodes (FCEs) where the primary or secondary diagnosis was either neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs of addiction or withdrawal from therapeutic use of drugs in newborns. The baby is not diagnosed as addicted, but as withdrawing from the mother's addiction.

It is not possible to provide information on the type of drug the newborn child is withdrawing from.

It is unclear whether there has been a real rise in the number of babies born suffering from the mother's addiction, as we suspect that a better awareness of drug misuse has lead to an increase of awareness and identification. Improved engagement with pregnant drug addicted women by the national health service and improvements in treatment for drug addiction may have allowed more women to conceive and/or carry a pregnancy to full term.

Count of cases (finished consultant birth episodes) with a primary or secondary diagnosis of neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs for the period 1997-98 to 2007-08
Total finished consultant birth episodes
2007-08 1,230
2006-07 1,211
2005-06 1,210
2004-05 1,192
2003-04 1,156
2002-03 1,054
2001-02 933
2000-01 926
1999-2000 924
1998-99 909
1997-98 751
Count of cases (finished consultant episodes) with a primary or secondary diagnosis of neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs by primary care trust (PCT) of residence for the period 2007-08
Current PCT of residence description Total finished consultant birth episodes
Unknown 575
Bromley PCT *
Barnet PCT *
Hillingdon PCT *
Enfield PCT *
Barking and Dagenham PCT *
City and Hackney Teaching PCT *
Tower Hamlets PCT *
Newham PCT *
Haringey Teaching PCT *
Blackburn with Darwen PCT 7
Herefordshire PCT *
North Tyneside PCT *
Hartlepool PCT *
North Tees Teaching PCT *
North Lincolnshire PCT 12
Nottingham City PCT *
Salford PCT 9
Stockport PCT *
Portsmouth City Teaching PCT *
Luton PCT 11
Rotherham PCT 6
Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT 14
Blackpool PCT 8
Bolton PCT *
Ealing PCT *
Warrington PCT *
Oldham PCT 7
Calderdale PCT *
Barnsley PCT *
Bury PCT *
Brent Teaching PCT *
Camden PCT *
Islington PCT 7
Sunderland Teaching PCT *
Southampton City PCT *
Medway PCT 8
Westminster PCT *
Southwark PCT *
Lewisham PCT *
Tameside and Glossop PCT *
Brighton and Hove City PCT 9
South Birmingham PCT *
Shropshire County PCT *
Walsall Teaching PCT *
Sutton and Merton PCT 6
North Somerset PCT *
Telford and Wrekin PCT *
Wolverhampton City PCT *
Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT 7
Leeds PCT 31
Kirklees PCT *
Wakefield District PCT 11
Sheffield PCT 15
Derbyshire County PCT 9
Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT 10
Lincolnshire Teaching PCT *
Redbridge PCT *
Waltham Forest PCT *
County Durham PCT *
Cumbria Teaching PCT *
North Lancashire Teaching PCT 6
Central Lancashire PCT 8
East Lancashire Teaching PCT 12
Sefton PCT *
Wirral PCT *
Liverpool PCT 11
Halton and St. Helens PCT 7
Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT 8
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT 7
Manchester PCT 17
North Yorkshire and York PCT *
East Riding of Yorkshire PCT *
Hull Teaching PCT *
Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT 21
South East Essex PCT *
Bedfordshire PCT 17
East and North Hertfordshire PCT *
Surrey PCT *
West Sussex PCT *
East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT *
Hastings and Rother PCT *
West Kent PCT *
Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT 6
Leicester City PCT 12
Northamptonshire Teaching PCT 8
Dudley PCT 6
Sandwell PCT 9
Birmingham East and North PCT 8
South Staffordshire PCT *
Worcestershire PCT *
Warwickshire PCT *
Peterborough PCT *
Cambridgeshire PCT *
Norfolk PCT *
Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT *
Suffolk PCT 6
West Essex PCT *
North East Essex PCT 9
South West Essex PCT *
Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT *
Hampshire PCT 7
Buckinghamshire PCT 9
Oxfordshire PCT *
Berkshire West PCT 11
Berkshire East PCT 7
Bristol PCT 33
Wiltshire PCT *
Dorset PCT *
Bournemouth and Poole Teaching PCT 24
Devon PCT *
Isle of Wight NHS PCT *
Powys LHB *
Northumberland Care Trust *
Torbay Care Trust 8
North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus 11
Total 1,230

ICD-10 diagnosis codes used:

P96.1 Neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs of addiction.

P96.2 Withdrawal symptoms form therapeutic use of drugs in newborn.

Low numbers

Due to reasons of confidentiality, figures between one and five have been suppressed and replaced with '*' (an asterisk).

Ungrossed data

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).


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

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