The changing profile of neonatal care: EPICure 2 (2005) vs UKNNSS (1996)

E Draper, J Tucker, F Stacey, K Costeloe

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: In 1996 the UK Neonatal Staffing Study (UKNNSS) carried out a census of neonatal unit activity in the UK to determine whether implementation of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine standards would improve outcomes from neonatal care. This census was repeated for England in 2005 as part of the EPICure 2 study.

Aim: To determine how the capacity and activity levels of neonatal services in England have changed since 1996 and how they vary between unit types.

Methods: A unit profile questionnaire (adapted from UKNNSS) was mailed to all 182 English neonatal units in the summer of 1996 to collect information about unit activity, cot capacity and staffing levels in 2005. The forms were completed by the paediatric EPICure2 coordinator on each unit with inputs from neonatal nursing, obstetric and midwifery staff. Data from 2005 were then compared with the UKNNSS data from 1996.

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Results: The total number of units providing sustained neonatal intensive care in England reduced from 145 in 1996 to 136 in 2005. Over this period cot provision remained fairly stable, although there were significant increases in low birth weight admissions, babies requiring ventilation/continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and days of ventilation/CPAP. Low levels of neonatal intensive care provision were recorded in level 1 neonatal units (see table).

Conclusions: Increases in activity levels in neonatal intensive care over time have not been matched by a proportionate increase in cot provision.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
EventRCPCH 13th Annual Spring Meeting - York, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Mar 20092 Apr 2009


ConferenceRCPCH 13th Annual Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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