Background The West Midlands Neonatal Surgical Project (2008) was set up to maximise the number of babies receiving surgical care close to home. Historically, 50 babies/year were transferred by the regional transfer service (West Midlands New born Transfer Service (WMNTS)) to surgical centres out of region.
Aim To report on the number of surgical transfers performed within and outside of region by a single neonatal transfer team over a 4 year period.
Data collection Retrospective interrogation of WMNTS Excel© database (2010–2013) by a single investigator.
Results Neonatal surgical transfers performed by WMNTS declined from 253 (2010), to 248 (2011), and 192 (2012). In 2013 the number of neonates transferred with suspected surgical conditions increased again (209) without any change in surgical referral pathways.
Out of region surgical transfers dropped from 10 (2010) to 3 and 4 (2011 and and 2012) but in the last year have risen again to 10. In 2013 all out of region transfers have required intensive care beds.
Limitations We are aware that the regional paediatric intensive care team has transferred babies out of region for surgical intensive care and these numbers have not been captured.
Conclusion WMNTS data reveals that surgical babies who do not require intensive care beds are being successfully kept within region. However, we are reporting an increase in the number of babies requiring transfer out of region for intensive surgical care and this number is likely to be under-representative of the overall picture in the region.
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