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Perinatal transport: problems in neonatal intensive care capacity
  1. A B Gill1,
  2. L Bottomley1,
  3. S Chatfield2,
  4. C Wood3,
  5. on behalf of the Yorkshire Neonatal Forum
  1. 1Peter Congdon Neonatal Unit, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Neonatal unit, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford, UK
  3. 3Neonatal Unit, Hull Maternity Hospital, Hull, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Gill
    Peter Congdon Neonatal Unit, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS2 9NS, UK;


Objective: To assess the quantity and nature of transfers within the Yorkshire perinatal service, with the aim of identifying suitable outcome measures for the assessment of future service improvements.

Design/Setting: Collection of data on perinatal transfers from all neonatal and maternity units located in the Yorkshire region of the United Kingdom from May to November 2000.

Patients: Expectant mothers (in utero transfers) and neonates (ex utero transfers).

Interventions: None

Main Outcome Measures: Quantification of in utero and ex utero transfers; the reasons for and resources required to support transfers; the nature of each transfer (acute, specialist, non-acute, into or out of region).

Results: In the period studied, there were 800 transfers (337 in utero; 463 ex utero); 306 transfers were “acute” (80% of transfers in utero), 214 because of specialist need, and 280 “non-acute”. Some 37% of capacity transfers occurred from the two level 3 units in the region. Of 254 transfers out of the 14 neonatal units for intensive care, 44 (17.3%) were transferred to hospitals outside the normal neonatal commissioning boundaries.

Conclusions: The study highlights a continuing apparent lack of capacity within the neonatal service in the Yorkshire region, resulting in considerable numbers of neonatal and maternal transfers.

  • transport
  • intensive care
  • organisation
  • planning

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