Today we were joined by representatives from The Lullaby Trust and TAMBA to hand in our open letter to NHS England CEO Simon Stevens, calling for a review of funding levels for neonatal care so that services can meet the government and NHS's own standards for safety and quality, at the NHS head offices in London. This letter has been signed by over 3,700 of you, our supporters, and endorsed by 16 professional bodies and health charities.
Since the launch of the Bliss baby report: hanging in the balance in October we have been building up to this moment. The report showed that neonatal services in England are chronically understaffed and under-resourced. If urgent investment and action is not taken now, we know that the safety of babies will be compromised.
While progress is underway, with NHS England having committed a neonatal transformation programme to find where there is unmet need and make recommendations to address this, we know this is not enough on its own.
Bliss Chief Executive, Caroline Davey says,
"Today we brought home to NHS England how widely our concern is shared that the most vulnerable patients in our society are not receiving the care they deserve.
"We welcome the steps NHS England is taking to investigate underlying issues within neonatal services, but there’s no escaping the fact that the most urgent issue to address is a lack of funding. Without investment, the nursing and medical staffing shortfall and the lack of sufficient resources cannot be addressed, and care for babies born premature or sick will continue to be compromised.
"I would like to say a huge thank you to all the thousands of supporters who joined with us in signing this letter, including over 500 neonatal doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and the thousands of parents and others whose lives have been touched by neonatal care. I would also like to thank every organisation who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us by backing our letter. Today we have demonstrated that there is huge support for these needs to be met."
Our voices today have made a powerful impact; one we don’t think can be ignored. Thank you for everything you have done to help us get this far.
We hope to update you soon with Simon Stevens’ response to our letter. To make sure you never miss out on important news affecting neonatal services, make sure you’re signed up to our campaigns network.