Analysis

Understaffed transfer services may put infants’ lives at risk

Specialist neonatal transport services are essential parts of care provision for sick and premature babies. But, according to a report from the charity Bliss, such transfers are too often ‘understaffed, under-resourced and part time’

Specialist neonatal transport services are essential parts of care provision for sick and premature babies. But, according to a report from the charity Bliss, such transfers are too often ‘understaffed, under-resourced and part time’.

The review of the UK’s 17 regional neonatal services looked at everything from staffing levels and the co-ordination of services, to how quickly they respond to calls. It found shortfalls in every area.

Bliss chief executive Caroline Davey says the findings are worrying, but not due to a lack of dedication among the doctors and nurses staffing the services.

Pushed to the limit

‘Parents of premature and sick babies tell us how much they appreciate the committed, hard-working staff who do their best to provide high quality care,’ she says. ‘However, even parents recognise that these professionals are being pushed to their limits.’

Ms Davey says extra investment is ‘urgently needed so

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