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Maternity Services

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent progress has been made by the Neonatal Taskforce; and if he will make a statement. (240706)

The Neonatal Taskforce, chaired by NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, has met on five occasions. Four working groups have been established to take forward the key areas of data for commissioning, workforce, transfers and surgery, and are currently developing the quality standards and toolkits required for a comprehensive neonatal service.

Progress has been made within the Northern and Essex regions in developing a formal managed clinical network for neonatology. Networks are continuing to develop their specialist neonatal transfer services with the aim to ensure 24-hour seven-day-a-week access. Further progress is required and is being worked towards.