In April 2016 the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health made a number of recommendations about current services in Dorset. All recommendations have been shared publicly and can be found here.

Some recommendations from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health required immediate action and one of those was to re-designate the Local Neonatal Unit at Dorset County Hospital, converting it to a Special Care Unit for infants born after 32 weeks. We are working in partnership with Specialist Commissioners and clinicians from Dorset County Hospital, Poole Hospital and South Western Ambulance Service to address the immediate actions. This means the majority of babies needing special care would remain in Dorset County Hospital. A small number of babies born more than eight weeks early will routinely receive early care in a unit elsewhere with the expertise. This will affect less than 1% of women delivering their babies at Dorset County Hospital.

Another immediate recommendation was to consider integrating maternity and paediatric services at Dorset County Hospital and Yeovil Hospital. The discussions between the two trusts are progressing at pace.

We hope to announce a start date for the CSR public consultation soon. Details of the consultation will be publicised widely once we are able to confirm the details.