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Abstract

With the greater need for specialist neonatal care in England over the last decade, increased attention has been given to developing and implementing quality measures to ensure that babies and their families receive the highest quality care. Patient experience is recognised as a key measure of quality, therefore it is essential to assess parents’ experiences of neonatal services to understand how these can be improved. In this paper we detail findings from the second large scale survey of parents’ experiences of neonatal care carried out in England in 2014, focusing on results that highlight aspects of family-centred care: information sharing; communication; support; and involvement. The results reveal great variations between individual units, as well as highlight key areas in which units could improve to provide family-centred care. This includes parents being able to speak to their doctor more, as well as receiving important information to understand their baby’s condition, and about support services available. Positively, many parents felt they were able to visit their baby as much as they wanted and were involved in their day-to-day care, which are fundamental to parents forming a bond with their baby. The survey is a rich data source that provides neonatal units in England with results that allow them to focus improvement efforts on what matters most to those using their services. It also enables neonatal units to evaluate how they are performing on key standards of care, supporting them in striving for clinical best practice.

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