Diageo funds midwives campaign
Drinks giant Diageo is to pay for 10,000 midwives to be trained in highlighting to pregnant women the dangers of drinking alcohol, it has been announced.
The move is an example of the Government's bid to attract the private sector into public health and the Department of Health hopes the initiative will help more than a million expectant mothers over three years.
Public Health minister Anne Milton said: "Midwives are one of the most trusted sources of information and advice for pregnant women.
"This pledge is a great example of how business can work with NHS staff to provide women with valuable information.
"This will help over a million women over the next three years to make an informed decision about drinking during their pregnancy.
"It will potentially improve their health and also give their baby the best start in life."
Government guidance is for pregnant women to avoid drinking alcohol, but if they do, to drink only one to two units, once or twice a week.
Diageo is one of the biggest drinks businesses and its brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.
The training programme will be run by the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS).
It is part of the Government's "Responsibility Deal" which sees big business, charities and the retail sector working together to help people live healthier lives.