Aim Among children who receive hospital care, preterm infants are Europe's largest group, whose numbers are continually increasing. Currently, no pan-European standards of care for preterm or critically ill infants are available, except for a few specific topics, and practices vary widely in different regions.
Methods The European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) has initiated a transdisciplinary collaboration project to provide agreed standards for high-quality perinatal and neonatal care, whose implementation will ensure fairer and more equitable care across Europe. This will improve care for these vulnerable infants and their families, ameliorate the long-term conditions found in preterm and critically ill infants and enhance the quality of family life of affected families. More than 220 experts-healthcare professionals, patient representatives and other relevant stakeholders-have come together for the first time to develop a broad reference guidance in neonatology and associated fields.
Results Ninety-six standards on 11 overarching topic areas were developed and endorsed.
Conclusion This reference framework serves as a basis for the development of binding national standards for high-quality care. A robust translation and implementation strategy is facilitated, with the goal of improved health outcomes following preterm birth all around Europe.
- European collaboration
- neonatal treatment and care
- patient representatives
- preterm birth
- reference standards
- PRETERM BIRTH
- ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES