The POPPY report (Bliss 2009)
highlighted that babies being cared for in neonatal units across
the UK usually receive outstanding clinical care. Less consistent
attention has been paid to the non-clinical issues and how these
affect a family's journey through neonatal care and their
experience of the transfer from hospital to home. The report
also highlighted - as did speaking to our own parent forum - the
need for emotional support and continuity of care, particularly at
times of crisis and around the time of discharge. This lack of
continuity was especially felt by families as their infants move
between the different levels of care, from intensive care to high
dependency, and then to special care and on transfer to other
In response to these quality and operational needs and following
discussion with the mums and dads in our parents' forum, a Family
Support Nurse role was developed.
Our aim is to help parents quickly become more familiar with
their new environment on the unit, ensuring that their baby's
admission is as stress free as possible whilst ensuring that all
relevant demographic data is correct.
We can signpost families to other relevant professionals for
support, for example breast feeding, social worker, safeguarding or
counselling. We will have regular contact with families during
their stay on the unit and will advocate on your behalf in order to
help provide continuity in such a large workforce and to help deal
with any issues promptly.
We will work alongside the multi-disciplinary team to ensure
that discharge or transfer arrangements are completed quickly and
to the highest standard.
We will also be involved in the parent support group and forum
and in collecting information from parents for further service