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Perinatal health care should be regionalised and this should include a stand alone, reliable, and effective neonatal transport team
Within the United Kingdom,1,2 as well as in many other European countries,3 it is now accepted that neonatal intensive care should no longer be left to local initiatives, but has to be commissioned on a regional basis. Regionalisation of high risk perinatal health care by establishing and commissioning managed clinical networks aims to maintain equality of access whilst maximising the level of evidence based care and outcome,4 working in partnership with agreed patterns of referral and shared protocols.5 The aim is a flexible organisation that can respond well to a changing environment. As a result, a stand alone, reliable, and effective neonatal transport team with strong clinical and managerial leadership is considered as a crucial, although not exclusive, component to the success of a network.
Over the past decade, many regions in the United Kingdom have developed excellent neonatal transport teams. Often with very small budgets, teams have successfully put state of the art equipment into daily practice and set local standards for a safe and high quality standard of health care within a changing environment. However, the 21st century debate on neonatal transport must touch on issues that are of a broader nature—for example, how must a transport team deal with an ever increasing workload and clinical governance demands? Also, does team configuration need changing within the context of a network, and which new professional roles are needed? In other words, what are today’s and tomorrow’s solutions for modern or contemporary neonatal transport problems?
REORGANISE THE TRANSPORT LANDSCAPE
Neonatal transport is a high risk service to work in, because of the type of patients, a changing environment, differing equipment, and a high workload and responsibility.6 A preponderance of …