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Neonatal ward manager Karen Moss (right) and neonatal nurse Michaela Gray cradle one-month-old baby Ernest Rowe.

February 28, 2018

Colchester unit commended for its care

The care provided by Colchester General Hospital's neonatal unit and the steps that staff take to give new babies the best possible start in life have been highly commended following a national review.

A team from NHS England, which included a consultant and senior neonatal nurse from an acute hospital, visited the Turner Road site in November to interview staff, tour the unit and examine evidence about the way the unit is run. Their final report, published this month, praised a range of innovations that staff have introduced to further improve care for newborns and their families, including:

- The 'first hour of care' initiative in which staff carry out all of the care each baby needs, such as stabilising breathing, putting in lines for intravenous drugs and giving antibiotics, within the first hour of life before letting the baby rest, improving their outcome.

- The Little Miracles group and Facebook page, managed by staff to provide essential support to parents.

- A new initiative that has changed the way antibiotics are given to babies meaning they no longer have to leave their mother's side.

- The hospital's outreach team visits the family after discharge to offer continued support and care.

- The 'baby passport' that puts a plan for the baby's discharge in place as soon as they are born so that staff can begin working with parents to teach them how to care for their newborn.

Reviewers also commended the team work shown by the 48 staff who work on the unit, as well as the strong leadership of senior staff and the "exemplary" career progression offered to those at the beginning of their working lives.

The peer review results come shortly after the neonatal unit was given an 'outstanding' rating by the Care Quality Commission following its latest inspection.

 

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