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Review looks at the care of new born babies with deteriorating health

20 August 2015
  • Media

A review that will look at how new born babies with deteriorating health are cared for by hospitals and in the community has been announced today.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will look at current practices for managing new born infants with significant health problems in around 20 neonatal services offering different levels of care in England. The inspections are due to start next month.

During the review, the regulator will look at how well fetal medicine, obstetrics, neonatal and community services work together to care for new born babies with declining health problems.

The thematic review of neonatal services will look at current practice in relation to the management of new born infants whose health is deteriorating, with particular focus on the diagnosis and management of hypertension (high blood pressure), the management of respiratory support technologies (including tracheostomies) and how well the services work together to identify and follow up on any complications during pregnancy.

CQC will work closely with an expert advisory group made up of members from professional bodies to look at variability and gaps in the quality and safety of care found in the areas in the focus of the inspection, as well as identifying any barriers that are preventing good or outstanding care.

The review could lead to the development of national clinical guidelines by professional bodies.

Commenting on the review, Professor Edward Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said:

“Our review aims to look at how services are managing new born infants with severe health complications, and how each of the respective services involved in the care work together.

“Everyone has the right to care which is safe and effective, but we know from our inspections of maternity services there is a marked difference in the quality of the care provided. We want to highlight good practice so that it can be shared, but also to identify what is stopping hospitals from providing good or outstanding care.

“While this review will not give us a national picture of the quality of care, we hope that it will identify if there is a need to develop clinical guidelines to ensure there is consistent care across England.”

Inspectors will collect relevant information in the form of policies and trust guidance documents which will be verified by case note reviews and interviews with staff. The inspections begin in September 2015, while the report is expected to publish by the end of March 2016.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


Neonatal nursing is the provision of nursing care for newborn infants up to 28 days after birth.


Further information about the neonatal review can be found on our website 


There is an expert advisory group to support the review that is made up of several organisations including: the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Nursing.


About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.