Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Cash boost for premature baby care in the East Midlands

Baby in incubator
Nearly 2m has been invested to help improve the care of premature babies

Improvements in the care of premature babies in the East Midlands are to be made, health bosses have announced.

About 5,500 premature and sick babies in the region require specialist neonatal care each year.

A review of the nine primary care trusts in the East Midlands identified areas for improvement.

Now £1.7m has been invested in a new specialist transport service so babies can be quickly and safely transported to the most appropriate unit.

The smallest and sickest babies will continue to be treated at specialist centres at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham and the Leicester Royal Infirmary, with the other neonatal units across the region caring for babies according to their needs.

This will ensure the highest level of care is given to babies that require it most, health bosses said.

Dr Andy Leslie, nurse consultant for the new neonatal transport service said: "The investment in transport means we will be able to transfer babies between hospitals without taking away nurses and doctors from the neonatal units where they are needed to provide care.

"The new transport service will help us make sure that we can transport sick babies for specialist care at the time they need it, and get babies who are getting better closer to home as quickly as possible."

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