New research from Bliss and TinyLife, the charity for premature babies in Northern Ireland shows that neonatal services in Northern Ireland do not have enough nurses or doctors to meet vital benchmarks for high-quality care. Services are also struggling to give parents the support they need to be able to care for their baby, including not enough overnight accommodation and a lack of psychological support.
You can help us by asking your MLAs to take action right now to improve services for premature and sick babies, and their families. We want them to write to your local Health and Social Care Trust to find out what they are doing to improve facilities on neonatal units to keep parents together with their baby.
Neonatal staff do a fantastic job, but their already demanding workload is being made all the more difficult as a result of a lack of vital resources needed to meet standards of best practice for high-quality safe care.
This situation is unsustainable. Urgent action is required so every baby born premature or sick in Northern Ireland is cared for on a neonatal unit which is meeting best practice standards so they have the very best chance of surival and long-term quality of life. We want to see:
- The importance of having neonatal units which are well organised, staffed and funded must transcend political turbulence. The required funding must be available wherever decision making power is held.
- The Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency must work together to produce a Northern Ireland Neonatal Service Specification.
- The Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency must invest in neonatal care so services can recruit the nurses, doctors and other professionals they uregently need.
- The Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency need to invest in developing onsite facilities for families so they can be with their baby, including overnight accommodation, and ensure all units can provide families access to psychological support.
Please help us by emailing your MLAs right now. Their support is vital to make sure facilities on neonatal units are improved so parents can spend more time caring for their baby.