Improvements to care for sick and premature babies in Wales

January 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

 Health Minister Edwina Hart today [Monday, 7 December] accepted the recommendations of an expert group on improvements to care for sick and premature babies in Wales.

The group, led by Dr Jean Matthes, Consultant Neonatologist at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, has produced a plan to improve neonatal services. Priorities include introducing dedicated neonatal transport services, improved information systems, and the establishment of a Neonatal Managed Clinical Network for Wales. The network should be operational in February.

The group’s recommendations outline how the additional £2million a year of Assembly Government funding announced by the Minister for neonatal services will be spent.  Planned improvements include:

Two neonatal transport services, one in south Wales and one in north Wales. The transport services will ensure rapid and safe transport to specialist centres. The services will operate 12 hours a day in the first instance, with planned progress towards a 24-hour service in the future as staff resources are developed. The new service should be operational from spring next year.

Specialist Neonatal services concentrated in three centres in South Wales – Swansea, Cardiff and Newport – and one in North Wales, yet to be determined.

Recruitment to begin for additional Neonatal Consultants and Neonatal Nurses at each centre to deliver the new service.

A single Neonatal Database enabling the standardised collection of data across Wales.

Dr Jean Matthes, Chair of the Expert Group, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the development of the neonatal transport services, database and network.  This will significantly help to improve the services for newborn babies and their families throughout the whole of Wales.”

Dr Huw Jenkins, Consultant Paediatrician at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, added: “This is a very welcome announcement and I am pleased that the hard work of the clinicians and others involved in developing the neonatal standards and service models is coming to fruition.”

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Entry filed under: Early parenthood, England, Northern Ireland, Pregnancy and birth, Scotland, Wales. Tags: .

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