Alison Thewliss – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Alison Thewliss on 2016-09-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to develop milk banks.

Mr Philip Dunne

The United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking promote and support the accountable provision of safe, rigorously screened donor breastmilk for sick and premature babies. However they do not routinely supply milk for mother who through illness cannot breastfeed their babies even though they would consider providing the supply of breastmilk on a case by case basis.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that all donor milk administered in the National Health Service should be from milk banks that can demonstrate adherence to the NICE guidelines on the operation of donor milk bank services.

It is up to the local NHS in each area to consider whether to introduce a milk bank for mothers attending maternity units. There are at present 14 milk banks in NHS trusts in England.