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).
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.
- intensive care
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