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Children with FASD playing with sensory spaghetti


National Poll of Young Adults (april-May 2020)

National FASD has launched a 3-year campaign funded by the Sylvia Adams Trust specifically targeted at 15-25 year olds. We believe that armed with the facts, this generation can change things. We believe it’s critical to reach young women and men before they are either pregnant or planning a family. Our new prevention website for young adults,, has been launched. It includes the award-winning short film, RISK, and facts about the impact of alcohol in pregnancy. It also features #WhyRiskIt, a national competition designed to tap into and amplify the creativity and energy of Gen Z.

New Poll Shows One Quarter of Young Adults Unaware that UK Guidance is to Avoid Alcohol in Pregnancy.

The National Organisation for FASD has launched a campaign targeted at young adults.

In April-May 2020 NOFAS-UK (now the National Organisation for FASD) engaged OnePoll to conduct two surveys to test awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and to see if the general population knows the national scientific guidance.

OnePoll polled 2000 18-25 year olds across the UK. The results showed that:


26% could not identify the current Chief Medical Officers’ guidance that the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all if pregnant or if you could become pregnant.


80% said if they or a loved one (e.g. a sister or friend) were pregnant, that having the occasional drink of alcohol would not be ok. However, their understanding of WHY this is important is limited.


Only 17% understood that alcohol can cause the most long-term harm to the baby when compared with other substances such as heroin, crack cocaine and smoking.


Only 22% knew that the acronym FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


49% are getting information about these issues from social media,


while only 40% are getting if from a teacher and only 36% from a doctor, midwife or nurse.

One Poll of 2000 18-25 year olds

In addition, OnePoll conducted a one-question survey for us of 2000 nationally representative adults to see if they could recognise the CMO guidance. The good news is that awareness has improved over the same question asked last year.

  • 82% of adults (all ages) identified the CMO guidance in April 2020. When broken down by age, this poll supported the above finding with 75% of 18-24 year olds who identified the CMO guidance.
  • 76% of adults (all ages) identified the CMO guidance in April 2019. 67% of 18-24 year olds identified the CMO guidance in this poll, so there has been some improvement in the past year. One significant change in the year since is that there has been a push in social media by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s #Drymester campaign which might explain this, although that is supposition and wasn’t tested in our polling.

However, there is no room for complacency as this means a significant proportion of the population still has not taken on board the message that it’s safest to avoid alcohol during pregnancy despite this being the official guidance of the UK’s chief medical officers since 2016. It is urgent that senior officials and public health bodies reinforce this message publicly.

One Poll of 2000 adults

Freedom of information responses showed CCGs are NOT providing enough FASD services

No: 100% (166)

Does the CCG have a policy for commissioning services for FASD?

No: 78.31% (130)
Yes: 21.69% (36)

Does the CCG provide services for diagnosing FASD in children?

No: 91.57% (152)
Yes: 8.43% (14)

Does the CCG provide services for diagnosing FASD in adults?

No: 89.76% (149)
Yes: 10.24% (17)

Is the CCG involving individuals with FASD or their caregivers in planning or developing proposals?

No: 86.14% (143)
Yes: 13.86% (23)

Is there a lead person in the CCG on FASD?

No: 81.33% (135)
Yes: 18.67% (31)

Does the CCG provide services for diagnosing FASD in adults?

A Crisis of Commissioning: CCGs Are Failing Government Policy on FASD (2019).

Based on Freedom of Information requests to all Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts and Health Boards, this report highlights the mismatch between government policy and actual practice. The vast majority of CCGs are not commissioning services for FASD prevention, diagnosis or post-diagnostic care for those with FASD. Click here for the BMJ article that covered this report.

A Crisis of Commissioning - CCG report

Poll of 2000 Adults (2019)

Only 67% of 18-25 year olds correctly identified the CMO guidance in this 2019 survey

Poll of 150 GPs (2017)

Only 31% of the GPs said they had in-depth education regarding FASD in their medical school training.  41% of GPs said they have not received clear guidance from their local Clinical Commissioning Group regarding a pathway for diagnosis and support of FASD

GP Poll Summary

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