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Intensive Child Care Units

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 31 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision

COMBINED SPECIAL AND INTENSIVE CARE UNITS IN ENGLAND
(i) Northern Region
B Newcastle General Hospital24/2
B Princess Mary Maternity Hospital21/2
(ii) North Western Region
A St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester30/10
D Hope Hospital, Salford21/2
(iii) Yorkshire Region
A St. James's Hospital, Leeds35/6
(iv) Mersey Region
A Liverpool Maternity Hospital24/4
D Fazakerley Hospital20/4
D Alder Hey Children's Hospital8/6
(v) Trent Region
A Nottingham City Hospital36/5
A Leicester Royal Infirmary26/5
B/C Jessop Hospital, Sheffield26/-
(currently under discussion)
(vi) West Midland Region
B/C Birmingham Maternity Hospital36/4
B Sorrento Maternity Hospital32/4
C Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry29/4
C New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton26/5
(vii) East Anglian Region
A Mill Road Maternity Hospital, Cambridge24/4

he is making for an adequate number of intensive care units for new-born babies in ( a) the London area and ( b) the rest of the United Kingdom.

HC(76) 40 recommended a two-tier system of provision of special and intensive care for newborn babies:

  • (i) special care units associated with maternity and children's departments of district general hospitals; and
  • (ii) combined special care and intensive care units associated with certain maternity and children's departments of general hospitals that would have substantial resources in staff and equipment. As well as providing special care these units would look after the small proportion of babies whose healthy survival depends on highly specialised techniques. It was envisaged that there would be relatively few of this latter type of unit, probably only one or two per region. All regions confirmed that they were carrying out the review of their services for the newborn requested in the circular, and their actions are being followed up through the NHS planning system. The arrangements recommended in HC(76)40 applied equally to London and to the rest of England. Intensive care services for the newborn in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland respectively.
  • The list below shows those hospitals in England which provide intensive care for the newborn.

    (viii) Oxford Region
    A John Radcliffe Hospital40/6
    (ix) Wessex Region
    D Southampton General Hospital20/4
    (x) South Western Region
    D Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro20/4
    D Plymouth General Hospital24/6
    D Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Heavitree31/5
    D Bristol Maternity Hospital32/5
    D Southmead Hospital, Bristol36/6
    D Gloucestershire Royal Hospital20/3
    (xi) North West Thames Region
    B/C Hammersmith Hospital20/4
    D Northwick Park Hospital24/4
    D Watford General Hospital20/4
    D Edgware General Hospital20/4
    D St. Mary's Hospital13/3
    D Westminster Hospital10/2
    (opening March 1979)
    (xii) North East Thames Region
    A The London Hospital12/5
    A University College Hospital18/6–8
    (xiii) South East Thames Region
    A King's College Hospital23/7
    D Guy's Hospital20/2
    D St. Thomas's Hospital20/2
    D Lewisham Hospital25/3
    D Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton22/3–4
    (xiv) South West Thames Region
    C St. George's Hospital20/3–4
    (opening late 1979)
    D Kingston Hospital13/2
    D St. Peter's Hospital Chertsey30/4
    D Frimely Park Hospital20/4
    (xv) London post-Graduate Boards of Governors
    B Queen Charlotte's Hospital for Women20/2–5
    NOTES:
    The letter A denotes officially designated functioning Regional Units;
    The letter B denotes units which are recognised as having a regional commitment but are not officially designated;
    The letter C denotes units which are being developed with a view to designation in due course;
    The letter D denotes units which provide a local service.
    Against the name of each hospital are two figures, the first being the total number of cots in the unit, the second being the number of cots which can be used at any one time for intensive care.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many newborn babies have died in each of the past three years after being turned away from fully committed regional intensive child care units.

    This information is not routinely collected. A recent study undertaken in the North-East Thames region showed that, of 51 infants refused admission to the unit of first choice over a 3-month period, 12 were admitted to a second intensive care unit in the region; 26 were admitted to intensive care units outside the region; 11 remained in ordinary special care baby units; 2 were not traced.Survival of babies weighing more than 1,500 gms was as good in the special care baby units (SCBUs) as in the intensive care units (ICUs); survival of those weighing 1,001–1,500 gms was 60 per cent. in the ICUs, whereas the two in this group who remained in SCBUs died; survival of those weighing 1,000 gms or less was 20 per cent. in the ICUs whereas the five in this group who remained in SCBUs died.