Steve McCabe MP joins campaigners to launch report highlighting critical neonatal staff shortages

Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak, joined families and campaigners to highlight the issue of critical neonatal staff shortages following the latest report from special care baby charity Bliss.

The report shows that there is a severe shortage of neonatal nurses and doctors, meaning neonatal units are not meeting national standards on safe staffing levels for premature and sick babies.

Amongst its key findings the Bliss baby report 2015 found:

·         In order to meet the standards of good practice across neonatal care set out by the Department of Health and NHS, 2140 more nurses are needed.

·         At 41 per cent of units, parents do not have access to a trained mental health worker, despite parents of premature and sick babies being at far greater risk of postnatal depression.

·         One third of units were not able to provide overnight accommodation for parents of critically ill babies or those living many miles from the hospital. It is vital that parents are able to stay close to their baby as research shows that when parents are involved in their baby’s care it improves their development and recovery, and eases the pressure on health professionals.

Steve has joined Bliss in calling for urgent action from the government, the NHS and health education bodies to address these problems and ensure neonatal units have the resources they need to meet national standards for quality and safety.

Steve said:

“These findings are very concerning and highlight that more must be done to ensure that vulnerable babies born premature or sick receive the best possible chance in life. In particular this report really highlights the need for additional nurses. The doctors and nurses that are currently caring for our most vulnerable babies do incredible work, but are being stretched to breaking point.”

Caroline Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, said:

 “I would like to thank Steve for attending the launch of our Bliss baby report, and showing support for our issues. The government set out a comprehensive vision for neonatal care in 2009, with the publication of the Toolkit for high quality neonatal services. Six years on and we are falling further behind on critical measures of quality and safety, and the shortfall in funding means units are simply unable to meet these standards. We have to ensure that every baby has the best possible chance of survival and of having a full and healthy life.”

Share this
Copyright Steve McCabe MP Click here for a copy of this site's terms and conditions and privacy statement