As the pandemic continues and conferences and workshops are still being held digitally the Neonatal Nurses Associations pulled off a virtual conference with a great line up of sessions and speakers.
Under the motto “Embracing Change”, the event focused on the many contemporary tasks and challenges in newborn care, of which some have been significantly intensified by the pandemic. EFCNI Chairwoman Silke Mader also had the opportunity to share the parents’ perspective on neonatal health and care procedures. Moreover, in her talk The power of parents in influencing the quality of neonatal care, she was able to present how parents can make a constructive contribution to neonatal care and even drive developments for the benefit of all. She illustrated this with the example of the founding of World Prematurity Day 13 years ago by a group of parent organisations and of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project. World Prematurity Day has now become a global movement for raising awareness for preterm birth and the associated challenges for preterm children and their families. The European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project on the other hand has shown that a holistic approach enabled the project to take everyone involved in care, meaning professionals, infants and parents into consideration in order to ensure the best health outcomes possible. Neonatal nurses play a very special role in newborn care and especially in the care of preterm babies since they sometimes have more physical contact with a preterm baby and even earlier on than their own parents. Therefore, they also played a crucial part in developing the standards in this very project.
With the pandemic persisting, neonatal care is facing new challenges. Silke Mader therefore also took the chance to introduce the audience to the Zero separation. Together for better care campaign, which was originated by the Global Alliance for Newborn Care (GLANCE), a global association initiated by EFCNI. The campaign strongly advocates for the continuation of Infant and family-centred developmental care – in line with COVID-19 precautions and always referring to evidence-based findings and expert opinions. “Latest research is alarming, an increasing number of newborns are separated from their parents, also we see that neonatal staff is not given the training or equipment they need to do their work safely. We need an immediate change for better care conditions, for the benefit of all. NICU staff, babies and their parents.” concluded Silke Mader-
Recordings of the sessions are available for registered delegates to re-watch later via: https://nna.org.uk/
Our thanks go to the NNA for the invitation and the opportunity to speak at this conference.