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The RCOT guideline highlight the role of occupational therapy in neonatal services.

January 9, 2018

RCOT guideline highlights the potential contribution of occupational therapy to premature babies

Occupational therapy support should be available to all babies born prematurely says new guidance to neonatal units by The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT). The guidance aims to ensure that preterm babies have the building blocks in place to overcome the physical, mental and emotional challenges they often face. It sets out 31 evidence-based recommendations covering an infant's journey through a neonatal unit and beyond. Occupational therapy is already available in some units but is not yet universal.

Dr Betty Hutchon, Head Paediatric Occupational Therapist at London's Royal Free Hospital who helped draft the guidance, says: "The RCOT believes that investment in children's development should start at birth to provide the building blocks for future health and wellbeing. Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to support other professionals working in neonatal care to give infants the best start in life. We hope these guidelines will lead to improved outcomes for this highly vulnerable group of patients."

For more information, see the editorial in the January issue of Infant journal.


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