Principle 4

Hospital sign for neonatal intensive care unit with nurses blurred in background



Units encourage parents to be involved in plans and processes for continuous service improvement, and outcomes of care are benchmarked against local and national standards.

"You said, we did" board (standard 4.1b)

Lister Hospital

The team at Lister neonatal unit implemented a “you said we did” board. This board displays parent feedback, highlighting successful areas of care and identifying the improvements that have been made in response to feedback. All the families and visitors can view both the positive and negative feedback and see what the unit staff are doing to improve care for babies and families on the unit.

View the full case study.

Download our report “You said… we did” – meeting the promise of measuring parents’ experience of neonatal care which highlights the need to pay particular attention to how parents’ experiences and perspectives are gathered and used to inform service planning and delivery.

Parent experience survey (standard 4.2)

Darent Valley Hospital

Darent Valley’s parent experience survey captures the parent’s experience of the support and information they received whilst on the unit, including their thoughts around feeding and how supported and involved they felt delivering cares to their baby. It also captures parents thoughts on staffing, the care environment and the appropriateness of the support offered once discharged.

Treating Patients Well Questionnaire (monitoring and benchmarking, standard 4.1 A)

Northampton General Hospital, Northampton

The Treating Patients Well Questionnaire is an effective way of capturing information on the parent/carer’s experience from admission. The questionnaire asks parents/carers about:

  • The information they have been provided about the unit/hospital
  • Their interactions with medical and nursing staff
  • The opportunities they have had to participate in daily cares and bond with their baby

The questionnaire is a good way to measure how well family-centred care is delivered on the unit. Responding to the results of these questionnaires will drive forward service improvement.

Picker Institute Europe

In order to see where your unit is doing well and where there may be room for improvement, it is important to work with parents and families. Measuring parents' experience of the care and support provided to them and their baby helps units:

- assess parents' evolving needs.

- assess levels of parent involvement in care and decision-making.

- identify if appropriate support, facilities and information are available.

Bliss and the Picker Institute Europe have developed and coordinated national surveys of parent experience, supported by the Department of Health. These offer individual units and networks opportunities to use the results to identify areas of success and areas that need improvement, as well as benchmarking themselves against other units across the country.

This allows units to benchmark themselves against national standards and other units and provides evidence of performance and quality in the delivery of family-centred care – part of the NHS’s vision for neonatal services.

Parents’ experiences of neonatal care - 2011

Read a report from the Picker Institute Europe from 2011.

Parents’ experiences of neonatal care - 2014

Read a report from the Picker Institute Europe from 2014.

Our Picker Institute Europe has examples of ways that other units have engaged with parents to measure services. Please get in touch with us at if you would like more information.