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Plea for neo-natal care cash

Thursday November 5th, 2009

Professional organisations called for cash yesterday to back up new guidance for the care of new-born babies who need special care.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health welcomed the NHS Neonatal Toolkit.

But a spokesman added: "We urge the government to ensure that the resources and funding needed to implement the recommendations and standards are made available.

"Babies should not be denied access to one-to-one nursing care and other support which is already available to children and adults in intensive care."

The Royal College of Nursing said it was "concerned" there was no funding to back the guidance.

Royal College of Nursing speaks on baby special careChief executive Dr Peter Carter said: "More nurses mean that the most vulnerable babies and their families will have the one to one care and support they need during what is bound to be an extremely distressing time. We now look forward to working with NHS organisations to make sure that nurses receive adequate training in this area.

"We know that there are financial pressures in the NHS but it is concerning that no new funding has been announced to support the implementation of the toolkit.

"While we hope efficiencies can be made in some areas we recognise the challenges to deliver on these standards without extra funding."

The baby charity Bliss, which helped develop the guidelines, echoed the concerns.

Marking its 30th anniversary yesterday, it said: "These standards are a welcome first step, but there is still a long way to go. We are concerned that with the lack of upfront investment this could be another wasted opportunity to deliver the care that vulnerable babies desperately need."

Issuing its own report on progress, it said: "One of the key findings of the report was that, although there have been numerous government reports published over the last 30 years recommending better services for sick and premature babies, not one has ever been fully implemented."

Chief executive Andy Cole said: "Special care baby units have been stretched to the limits for far too long. We call on the Government and the NHS to ensure that the NHS Taskforce's recommendations are now delivered without delay."

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News

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