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Mum Caitlyn Gardner and Dad Ryan Aimer pictured with their baby Rory Vincent and Senior Midwife Heather Clark at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

December 31, 2019

Transitional care service keeps babies and families together at Forth Valley

More parents with babies who would previously have been admitted to the neonatal unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital can avoid being separated thanks to the introduction of a new service that aims to keep parents and babies together. The service has also led to a 20% reduction in the number of babies who require admittance to the neonatal unit.

The transitional care service, set up following the launch of the Scottish Government's Best Start Maternity and Neonatal Strategy, has been operating for a year at Forth Valley, and according to NHS Forth Valley Department Manager and Senior Midwife Kirsty MacInnes, feedback from parents has been very encouraging.

Previously around 300 babies were admitted to the neonatal unit from the labour ward. This applied to babies smaller than 2kg and those less than 36 weeks' gestation. A baby weighing 1.6 kg and more than 34 weeks' gestation can now stay with their mother in the hospital's postnatal ward where they will receive additional care and support, in line with locally developed criteria based on the BAPM Framework for Neonatal Transitional Care.

Kirsty says: "The staff in the neonatal unit, labour suite and postnatal ward, have all come together to make this service a success. All the staff groups have worked so hard to keep families together.

"Local parents, neonatal and midwifery staff work together to produce a treatment plan, which supports family-centred care and ensures parents are fully involved in the care of their baby. Some babies who have been admitted to the neonatal unit can also be transferred to transitional care to be cared for by parents within our postnatal ward prior to going home."


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