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Principle 1


Every baby should be treated as an individual and with dignity, respecting their social, developmental and emotional needs, as well as their medical and surgical needs.

This principle looks at how a neonatal unit enables parents to have regular private time with their baby(ies) and how care provision is designed to minimise the stress of the NICU environment (e.g. by reducing exposure to bright lights and loud noises)

Here are a selection of examples: 

Developmental care guidelines and competency framework

Conquest hospital neonatal unit

Conquest hospital have established developmental care guidelines on their unit, which covers areas such as positive touch, clustering cares and controlling the environment. They have also introduced an accompanying staff competency framework to ensure that these guidelines are understood and being delivered in practice. 

Headphones during ward rounds (standard 1.1b)
Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust

St Mary's, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea hospitals are using headphones during ward rounds to ensure that parents can stay with their baby, even when another baby is being discussed, to achieve unrestricted access for parents. 

Here are their guidelines. 

Recording responses to care (standard 1.2d)

Frimley Park hospital

Frimley Park have introduced a developmental care section on their observation charts which focuses on observing a baby's cues, responding appropriately to them and observing the outcome of the care response.

Sound (standard 1.6)

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth

The neonatal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital have put up signs around the unit to remind those on the unit to keep noise to a minimum. Basic care protocol and policies can help to minimise premature babies’ exposure to painful stimuli.

Environmental guidelines

Liverpool Women's Hospital

Liverpool Women’s Hospital have created an environmental guideline which provides guidance on how to reduce harmful stimuli, promote sleep and stability and ultimately, create an optimal environment for neuro development. 

Touch (standard 1.3)

Reading Hospital

At Reading, they have introduced a nurture of cuddles poster to promote positive touch.

Bliss and Best Beginnings Kangaroo care stickers and record sheets

These stickers and record sheets are a great resource to promote kangaroo care and to monitor how much kangaroo care parents on your unit have with their baby(ies). Click here for more information. 



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