Neonates, new born babies under four-weeks-old, are a particularly vulnerable group of patients, with approximately 20,000 babies a year requiring neonatal intensive care in the UK.
Although increasing numbers of babies now survive this critical period, analysis of Reporting and Learning System (RLS) data identified 21,487 incidents (2.2 per cent of all reported incidents) related to neonatal care during the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.
The NRLS is working to help improve patient safety in neonatal care and has recently completed a programme of work with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. This includes the development of a care bundle to reduce risks associated the administration of intravenous gentamicin to neonates. In addition, the NRLS report Review of patient safety for children and young people, published June 2009, provides analysis of key patient safety issues for neonates and identifies actions for stakeholders.
The Department of Health has also produced guidance in the form of the neonatal toolkit.
All NRLS resources relating to the care of neonates are listed below.