Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

A welcome result of an unwelcome virus? Evaluation of video consultations within a neonatal service

The recent pandemic has necessitated the use of video consultations in order that babies can receive timely follow-up after discharge from the neonatal unit, while avoiding the risks associated with travel and social mixing during an in-person attendance at clinic. We analysed parental and clinician perceptions of the service delivered using the newly implemented ‘Attend Anywhere’ video consultation service. Video consultations are satisfactory to parents and can safely meet the needs of appropriately selected patients. The video consultation system can be utilised for a variety of interactions between neonatal staff and parents and in addition has benefits at a strategic and environmental level.

Jenna Deeming
Neonatal Registrar

Catherine Armstrong
Neonatal Registrar

Ngozi Edi-Osagie
Neonatal Consultant

St Mary’s Hospital Neonatal Unit, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

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follow-up; video consultation; Attend Anywhere; telemedicine
Key points
  1. Virtual neonatal clinics are positively regarded by parents both in terms of ease of use, and ability to meet their babies’ needs.
  2. Clinicians regard video consultations positively, and concerns about potential for missed opportunities to pick up new information or diagnoses could be mitigated by guidance on appropriate patient selection and use of video consultation in conjunction with face-to-face consultations.

Also published in Infant:

NICE guidance for developmental follow-up of children born preterm
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline Developmental Follow-up of Children and Young People Born Preterm highlights potential risk factors to infant development and recommends enhanced surveillance and monitoring for infants born at less than 28 weeks’ gestation once discharged from the neonatal unit until four years uncorrected age. The guideline also recognises the importance of being able to provide parents and carers with the best available evidence about the developmental needs of infants born prematurely.