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Bliss report shows three quarters of neonatal units do not have enough nurses

23 January 2017

The Bliss Scotland baby report 2017: An opportunity to deliver improvements in neonatal care has shown that three quarters of neonatal units who responded to our nationwide survey do not have enough nurses to meet the requirements set out in national standards.

As well as this, units across Scotland are falling short on the number of doctors and other professionals they need meet national standards as set out in the Neonatal care in Scotland: A Quality Framework. This is putting units under-pressure and stretching a dedicated workforce too thin.

Our report follows the publication of the Scottish Government’s review into neonatal services. While the recommendations of this review, which include putting family-centred care at the heart of neonatal care and restructuring services, could transform care for babies in the future, our findings show there are gaps which need urgent attention right now.

Our report has found:

"Our report shows that neonatal units across Scotland are understaffed and under-resourced, and that this is putting babies at risk," says Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss Scotland. "While we welcome the Government’s progressive vision for Scottish neonatal services, services for premature and sick babies are already overstretched, and any plan for improvements must provide sufficient funding to address the problems that exist now."

It is clear that there is a real appetite for change and transformation in Scotland to improve neonatal services, so it is vital this opportunity is not wasted. Tomorrow (24 January), we will be sharing our findings at the Scottish Parliament and we need as many MSPs as possible to come along and show their support.

Please email your MSPs now and ask them to show their support for transforming neonatal care in Scotland by attending our event.


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