Staff shortages mean that not all babies, unlike most adults, get the minimum one-to-one nursing care they should get in intensive care1. It also means that some babies are being transferred from unit to unit, not because of clinical need, but because there aren’t enough cots and staff to accommodate them.
But we also believe that some babies who die in the early neonatal period do so, not because they are born prematurely and neonatal services are unable to look after them, but because of the kind of care they received antenatally or during labour.
In 2007, for instance, 10% of babies who died neonatally in the UK did so because of events during labour2. These are surely some of the most avoidable deaths of all and should not happen.
Sands supports the work of Bliss in highlighting issues relating to neonatal care service provision in the UK. To see their work go to www.bliss.org.uk
1Too little, too late? Baby report 2007, Bliss
2Perinatal Mortality 2007, Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health