23rd August 2019

National report rates Musgrove Park’s maternity and neonatal care above national average

Pictured (left to right): Sue Fulker, neonatal unit manager, and Suzanne Pilkington, children’s services matron

Mothers who deliver their baby early and need additional care at Musgrove Park Hospital’s neonatal unit have better outcomes than most of England.

According to a report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health into neonatal care, Musgrove performs better than the national average.

The report says seven in ten premature babies discharged from the hospital’s neonatal unit are breastfed, compared with six in ten nationally.

This is thanks to a great focus by neonatal staff, who work with Musgrove’s specialist infant feeding team to teach and support mums to breastfeed.

Another area where Musgrove Park performs above the national average is in cases of bloodstream infections (sepsis) in babies receiving intensive care. There were none at Musgrove in the last year, compared with a national average of 5.6 in 1,000.

This is in part due to enhanced care available on the neonatal unit over the last few years where it’s now mandatory for two clinicians to be present when intravenous lines are placed in babies.

At Musgrove’s neonatal unit, nine in ten parents are present with their baby during a consultant ward round, compared with 75 per cent nationally.

Parents are encouraged to be present during a ward round so they get a chance to let their consultant know first-hand if anything is concerning them.

Dr Christopher Knight, consultant paediatrician at Musgrove Park Hospital, said:

“We are very proud of the service we offer families and it’s a testament to our excellent staff that the Royal College report reflects this.

“I want to say a huge thank to our staff, who work so hard to constantly improve the service we give to parents and their babies year on year.”