Topic of the Month: Neonatology

Across London, paediatric trainees and trainers are focusing on Neonatology. Here are some things to think about.

More than 300 babies are born every day in London. Nationally, one in every eight babies requires admission to a neonatal unit, and the majority of these (around 60%) are born at term. The average length of stay on a neonatal unit is eight days, which ranges from babies who are monitored for a few hours during transition, to extremely premature infants who may require neonatal care for many months.

Neonatology therefore encompasses a large spectrum of clinical scenarios – from acute resuscitation and stabilisation of critically unwell infants, to long term holistic support of premature babies and their families. Neonatal placements forms a substantial part of paediatric training and trainees will develop knowledge of intensive care, neonatal pathologies, and nutrition; as well as skills in resuscitation, procedures, and communication.

All paediatric trainees develop competencies in neonatology through core training, trainees wishing to specialise in neonatology may consider GRID training or SPIN modules.

Paediatric Curriculum

A substantial part of the RCPCH 2018 curriculum for level 1 and level 2 trainees concerns neonatology, and skills learnt in neonatal placements can fulfil learning objectives across several domains of the new curriculum.

Level three trainees specialising in neonatology are expected to be able to:

  • Provides comprehensive care to the critically ill infant on the neonatal intensive care unit, whilst ensuring the care of well term infants on the postnatal ward.
  • Communicates expertly with parents or carers and other staff in the antenatal and postnatal environment.
  • Demonstrates effective and appropriate follow-up of babies following neonatal intensive care.

Courses and Resources

  • RSM day on neonatology
  • British Association of Perinatal Medicine have an annual congress, and several specific events and training days throughout the year https://www.bapm.org/events
  • The Neonatal Society aims to promote academic medicine within Neonatology, and holds three events a year, some of which are free: http://www.neonatalsociety.ac.uk/
  • Bliss is a charity for babies born premature or sick. It has a range of resources and materials for parents, and also runs a helpline. https://www.bliss.org.uk/
  • The Neomate App is a useful way of accessing NTS guidelines and calculators.

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