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NICE quality standard on specialist neonatal care

The NICE quality standard for specialist neonatal care defines the best clinical practice for babies in special care, high dependency and neonatal intensive care in England, including transfer services. 

What does it say?

Nine quality statements make up the standard on specialist neonatal care. Each quality statement is accompanied by quality measures which aim to improve the structure, process and health outcomes of specialist neonatal care.

The quality standard says specialist neonatal care services should include the following:

  • Provide safe and efficient transfers to and from specialist neonatal care.
  • Parents are encouraged and supported to be involved in planning and providing care for their baby, and have regular communication with clinical staff throughout the time their baby is in neonatal care.
  • Mothers are supported to start and continue breastfeeding, including being supported to express milk.
  • Safe and effective discharge plans are made which creates a smooth transition from hospital to community care.
  • Babies have their health outcomes monitored.


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