Calls for more neonatal nurses

A prominent nursing group has said that premature babies require more staff to care for them.
With premature babies standing better chances of survival than ever, hospitals need to increase the number of neonatal nurses to cope with the growing number of infants in need of their care, a nursing group has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said that every baby in a neonatal intensive care ward should have one nurse dedicated to their care alone.

In a statement launched with a series of organisations, the RCN has called for 70 per cent of registered nurses working in intensive care wards to undergo specialist education in neonatal nursing care.

The college also said that hospitals should ensure they have enough nurses to cater for staff absences in order to ensure that premature babies receive the best quality care possible.

A spokesman for the RCN told the Press Association: "Over the last 20 years, due to medical and technological advances, there have been improved survival rates for premature and low birth weight babies, yet funding for staff and training has not kept pace with demand."

RCN chief executive and general secretary Dr Peter Carter added: "Babies are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and we have to ensure that we secure increased funding and investment in specialist staff to care for them."

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