Newborn babies may need extra care in a neonatal intensive care unit or special care baby unit if they were born prematurely or if they need care for a particular health condition. Babies and infants that need long-term care can be transferred to a local unit or discharged to receive care at home. A baby with complex health needs may move between distinct areas of care or 'pathways'.
This Care Quality Commission (CQC) review looked at how risks for newborn babies are identified and managed and at the care for infants in the community who need respiratory support.
This review draws on one particular case that had a tragic outcome for a baby and her parents. Elizabeth Dixon was born prematurely but suffered brain damage as a result of missed high blood pressure. She died shortly before her first birthday in 2001, when there was a failure to correctly maintain her tracheostomy tube. While this review was not an investigation of the specific circumstances of Elizabeth's case, it drew on this to examine current practice, systems and guidance.