The organisation, structure and provision of care, as well as the education of healthcare professionals, vary widely across Europe. Currently, there are no cross-European guidelines for newborn health. To tackle this challenge, the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) initiated the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project. It addresses these disparities by developing standards to contribute to better care for all European infants. With its truly patient-centred approach, the project involves parent representatives in every project stage and is the first one of its kind led by a patient organisation.
The European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project is an interdisciplinary and cross-border collaboration of experts developing reference standards of care for 11 key topics in newborn health covering the range from the perinatal period to early childhood, e.g. medical care, care procedures, follow-up or education and training. In total, the project combines the knowledge and experience of more than 220 project members from about 35 countries to develop more than 100 European reference standards.
Project members include healthcare professionals from the fields of nursing, obstetrics, neonatology, paediatrics, and psychology, parent representatives, industry partners and third parties with an interest in newborn health. In the project, parents and healthcare professionals work together as partners in a permanent reciprocal feedback process on the reference standards – they form an open and respectful partnership to pave the way for change.
The standards are expected to be launched in autumn 2018.
Image: Group picture of the 4th Chair Committee Meeting in 2017 © EFCNI