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Campaign update - help make neonatal services a priority in your area

28 July 2017

Now that MPs are settling into their constituencies, and working out what the priorities are for local people, it’s a great time to get in touch with your MP to tell them what matters to you.

In England

Please write to your MP to tell them about a lack of accommodation and facilities for parents whose babies are in neonatal care.

Our 2016 report revealed a widespread lack of facilities and support for parents at neonatal units across England, keeping families apart at this traumatic time and preventing parents from being closely involved in their babies' care. This is despite strong evidence that premature and sick babies' health is improved when their parents are supported to take the lead in care.

One of the biggest barriers for families is a lack of overnight accommodation on or near the neonatal unit. More than a third of all units do not have dedicated accommodation for parents of critically ill babies who live many miles from home, and only five out of 29 neonatal intensive care units have enough accommodation to meet national standards.

Tell your MP about the experience of families in your constituency by emailing them now.

In Scotland

Please write to your MP, asking them to call on the Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland, Shona Robinson, to take urgent action on funding.

Our recent research in Scotland showed that neonatal services don’t have enough nurses and doctors to meet vital benchmarks for high-quality care.

Our report chimes with some of the findings in the recently released The Best start: A Five Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care in Scotland. This review into neonatal services provides lots of recommendations to transform services of the future - including embedding family-centred care right at the heart of neonatal services.

However, we are concerned that while The Best Start acknowledges that there will be costs associated with implementing its recommendations in the future, it falls short of saying that additional investment is needed to grow the current workforce.

Tell your MP why this issue matters to you, and how they can help by emailing them now.

In Wales

Please contact your MP to raise the issue of critical staffing shortages in neonatal units across Wales.

Recent research from Bliss showed that services for premature and sick babies in Wales are facing critical staffing shortages, putting babies’ safety and long-term health at risk. Many of these challenges facing services in Wales have been raised for many years but have not been resolved. Now is the time to demand change.

Write to your MP to tell them about the situation facing families with a baby in neonatal care in Wales and ask them to take action to make the vital improvements needed to bring services into line with national safety and quality standards.

In Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, we’re working with Tiny Life on a new Baby Report and would love to hear from you. Share your experience of life on a neonatal unit in Northern Ireland by filling in our survey.

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