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Neonatal care booklet launched for parents in Scotland

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A new publication designed to support parents during their baby’s time in neonatal care has been launched today.

The booklet, which is now available at all neonatal units in Scotland, is intended to provide helpful information support and advice for carers, siblings and grandparents, and focusses on a parent’s perspective.

The South East and Tayside Managed Clinical Network for Neonatal Services established a parent group in 2012 to help develop the booklet based on their own experiences. Input also came from healthcare staff and the charity Bliss.

“This guide gives details such as what care their baby can expect to receive to more practical advice on what parents need to do when their baby is ready to go home”

Maureen Watt

The group highlighted that times of “transition” in neonatal units could be very stressful, with parents unsure what to expect when their baby was moved between levels of care.

They also felt information that clearly explained each stage of care in a neonatal unit would have been helpful and that information written by parents for parents, capturing the parent’s perspective, would be really beneficial.

The finalised booklet was distributed to South East and Tayside neonatal units throughout August and September 2014.

The Scottish Government has now funded the publication and distribution to all neonatal units in Scotland.

Public health minister for Scotland Maureen Watt launched the booklet today during a visit to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Ms Watt said: “This guide provides parents with lots of useful information and advice. It gives details such as what care their baby can expect to receive to more practical advice on what parents need to do when their baby is ready to go home.

“I commend the parents who worked on this guide in their own time particularly while bringing up their babies and some also working – I want to thank them for their commitment and dedication, and using their own experiences to provide an invaluable resource to other parents,” she added.

The network – one of three in Scotland – was established in 2011 as a collaboration between NHS Borders, Fife, Lothian and Tayside.

The network supports and facilitates the delivery of services to meet the needs of neonates and their families in the South and East of Scotland. Its work involves developing clinical pathways, auditing and co-ordination of education and training opportunities, and workforce planning.

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