National Neonatal Audit Programme: Annual report on 2020 data

Reports | Published: 10 Mar 2022

The National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP) has published its latest annual report. Based on 2020 audit data from neonatal services in England and Wales, it describes neonatal care in a period when societal lockdowns, limitations to parental access, staff shortages and general disruption to hospital services had the potential to significantly impact care delivery.

The report found that 6.3% of babies born at less than 32 week’s gestation and admitted to neonatal care died before discharge or 44 weeks (July 2018-June 2020); a reduction of 0.3% since July 2017-June 2019. Other key findings include:

  • 85.7% of mothers of babies born at less than 30 weeks’ gestation were given antenatal magnesium sulphate (increase of 3.6% since 2019, when it was 82.1%)
  • In 84.2% of admissions, parents were present on a consultant ward round on at least one occasion during a baby’s stay (increase of 1%since 2019, when it was 83.2%). However,
  • 68.4% of babies born at less than 30 weeks’ gestation had a documented medical follow up within the appropriate time period (reduction of 2.4% since 2019, when it was 70.8%), and
  • 38.3% of babies born at less than 32 weeks’ gestation developed significant bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or died between 2018-2020 (increase of 1.7% since 2017- 2019, when it was 36.6%).

The NNAP report goes on to make a number of recommendations, including a call for neonatal units and networks with high rates of adverse outcomes (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotising enterocolitis and late onset infection) to identify potentially better practices from neonatal units with lower rates of adverse outcomes, and implement them (including any identified from the NICE guideline [NG124] Specialist neonatal respiratory care for babies born preterm).

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National Neonatal Audit Programme: Annual report on 2020 data

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