Shadow health secretary praises work of neonatal unit

Labour MP Heidi Alexander's visit arranged by baby charity Bliss after report raises infant care issues

Neonatal nurses today welcomed the shadow health secretary to their specialist unit in Brighton.

Heidi Alexander, Labour MP for Lewisham East, was invited by the baby charity Bliss to tour the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Infant care study

The visit comes after the publication of a UK study by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine showed that between 2008 and 2012 the proportion of infants receiving one-to-one nursing care fell from about 39.5% to just under 36%.

During the same period, an average of 4.5% receiving intensive care died each month.

This prompted a call from Bliss chief executive Caroline Davey for government to do more to improve staffing levels in neonatal units.

She said Ms Alexander had ‘helped to shine a light on the vital work’.

Ms Alexander added: ‘It is clear that the commitment and hard work of the staff on this unit makes a real difference to the life chances and wellbeing of the babies they care for, and to their families.’

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