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OBJECTIVE: To assess how UK neonatal units address parent communication, support and information needs during neonatal care and the early months after discharge. DESIGN: All units were invited to participate in a survey of practice and policy relating to the needs of parents with babies admitted for neonatal care. SETTING: Neonatal care, UK. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportions of units by unit level providing specific facilities, information, policies and support mechanisms. RESULTS: Facilities, information and support for parents vary and can be quite limited: units may have as many as 10 babies receiving intensive or high dependency care in one room; 24% have no rooms in which to accommodate one or two babies only; 96% have at least one room for parents to stay overnight, 27% of rooms have ensuite amenities; 72% have written information about the equipment used, 64 % on ventilation and 91% on breastfeeding; parents have free access to notes in 20% of units and in 14% parents are excluded from ward rounds; 27% have a policy on keeping in contact with parents, 47% did not have the services of a social worker, psychologist, counsellor or psychiatrist and only 15% have a unit-based family care nurse. CONCLUSIONS: Elements of unit policy and practice that support family-centred care are variably in place currently and units need to address the gaps.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed

Publication Date





F365 - F368


Communication, Comprehensive Health Care, Health Care Surveys, Health Education, Health Services Research, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Needs Assessment, Parents, Professional-Family Relations, Social Support, United Kingdom, Visitors to Patients