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The meeting follows the recent publication of the Bliss and TinyLife Northern Ireland baby report 2018 which found that neonatal services are under incredible pressure.

June 5, 2018

Northern Ireland MPs meet with Bliss to discuss pressure on neonatal services

Premature baby charities Bliss and TinyLife have met with MPs from Northern Ireland to discuss their role in supporting the case for urgent additional investment to ensure all neonatal units across Northern Ireland are safe.

The meeting follows the recent publication of the Bliss and TinyLife Northern Ireland baby report 2018 which found that neonatal services are under incredible pressure.

The report found that in Northern Ireland:

-Over half of neonatal units do not have enough nurses in post to meet minimum standards for providing safe, high quality care.

-55 per cent of the nursing shortfall can be attributed to inadequate funding for recruitment.

-Five out of seven neonatal units in Northern Ireland have difficulties with at least one aspect of nurse training and development.

-Five out of seven neonatal units have no dedicated access to a mental health professional, and three neonatal units are unable to provide access to any trained mental health professional at all, including by referral to an external service.

-Four out of seven neonatal units in Northern Ireland do not have enough medical staff in post to meet minimum standards.

-No units in Northern Ireland have a neonatal community outreach service to support families after discharge.

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, says: "Neonatal services in Northern Ireland are facing a number of serious challenges that are severely affecting the care of the 1,800 babies born premature or sick in the country every year. We know that neonatal staff do a fantastic job on limited resources, but our findings show that investment is urgently needed to ensure that every baby born premature or sick can receive the best care."

Chief Executive of TinyLife Alison McNulty adds: "We hope that this meeting with MPs will give us an opportunity to highlight that investment is essential into a care pathway from hospital to home that ensures the best outcomes for all premature babies born in Northern Ireland."

The full report is available here.

 

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