Decision on premature facilities delayed

PLANS for a shake-up of premature baby care at East Anglian hospitals have been postponed. There are fears that two Norfolk hospitals, the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, might lose their facilities to look after premature babies who need high-dependency care.

PLANS for a shake-up of premature baby care at East Anglian hospitals have been postponed.

There are fears that two Norfolk hospitals, the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, might lose their facilities to look after premature babies who need high-dependency care.

It is because the strategic health authority, NHS East of England, wants to see fewer high dependency units, which are the middle level of care, and more special care baby units and neonatal intensive care units, which are the lowest and highest levels. It could mean that all high-dependency babies need to go to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital or other hospitals outside the county.

The JPH and QEH have been lobbying to keep their existing services. A final decision has yet been made, and now the start of the public consultation has been delayed from June to September. NHS East of England says this is because of a “request from the service providers”. Any changes will not come into force until next year at the earliest.


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