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Babies in need of care may be moved

PUBLISHED: 01:49 28 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

BABIES born in Ipswich but needing the highest level of specialist care, may be looked after at other hospitals instead, in future.

Although Ipswich Hospital's Neonatal Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) is not going to be closed, a few beds providing the highest level of care could be moved to new regional centres, the Evening Star can reveal today.

BABIES born in Ipswich but needing the highest level of specialist care, may be looked after at other hospitals instead, in future.

Although Ipswich Hospital's Neonatal Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) is not going to be closed, a few beds providing the highest level of care could be moved to new regional centres, the Evening Star can reveal today.

In the wake of a national report by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine Standards, a team of experts has recommended that very specialist care should only be available at regional centres.

The aim is to ensure that more beds can be provided, and staffed by senior professionals like consultant paediatricians.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said today: "The neotnatal unit at Ipswich will remain. It is not closing.

"The suggestion being discussed, is for the location of the most specialist intensive care beds to be reconsidered. All regions have been asked to look at this issue, and a discussion paper by the NHS Executive for the Eastern Region, is due out shortly.

"This is part of a national strategy and is no reflection at all on the very high standard of service currently provided at Ipswich."

Almost 3,500 babies are born at Ipswich Hospital's busy maternity unit every year, and it is impossible to predict beforehand what level of care they will all need.

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