The provision of neonatal services

Data for international comparisons

by Michael Hallsworth, Alice Farrands, Wija J. Oortwijn, Evi Hatziandreu

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This report gathers information on the provision of neonatal services in seven countries: the UK nations of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, Canada, Sweden, and Australia. The report was produced to support the National Audit Office’s (NAO) Value for Money study of neonatal services in England. Therefore, the report aims to provide a compendium of relevant data to facilitate comparisons and benchmarking of neonatal services (organisation, statistics, and so on) in England with the above nations. The report does not, however, consider the provision of neonatal services in England itself. Since the report is concerned with international comparisons, it does not analyse differences within countries.

The report presents a comparative analysis of neonatal services, followed by chapters on specific countries. The information is presented along five research dimensions defined by the National Audit Office: 1) trends in high-risk births and associated outcomes, including mortality and co-morbidities; 2) organisation and scale of neonatal services; 3) neonatal transport services; 4) costs of neonatal services and 5) best practices for infants and their families. The study found that all countries studied use neonatal networks, although with varying levels of formalisation, that low staffing is a pervasive problem for UK neonatal services, and that a few regions are leading the way in the development of high-quality neonatal service provision.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Comparative Analysis

  • Chapter Three


  • Chapter Four


  • Chapter Five

    Northern Ireland

  • Chapter Six

    United States of America

  • Chapter Seven


  • Chapter Eight


  • Chapter Nine


  • Appendix A


Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the National Audit Office and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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