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Volume 16/Issue 5, September 2020

Waving goodbye to the baby train: reducing mother-infant separation and drug errors by collaborative working

Sarah Quinton-Shapcott, Shelley Knights


This article describes a quality improvement initiative to decrease maternal and newborn separation and to reduce drug errors by stopping the ‘baby train’ of well infants attending the neonatal unit for administration of empirical intravenous antibiotics (IVABs). Utilising bite-sized teaching boxes, midwives were trained to act as a second checker of IVABs alongside a neonatal nurse, keeping mother and babies together on the postnatal ward. The initiative also saw an improvement in patient safety through greater understanding of antibiotic regimen and collaborative working between midwives and neonatal nurses.

Previously at Colchester Hospital, a ‘train’ of babies would travel from the PNW to receive IVABs on the NNU. A QI initiative set out to reduce maternal and newborn separation and drug error incidents by administering IVABs on the PNW. The project improved safety and collaborative working between maternity and neonatal services.
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