European Standards of Care for Newborn Health-A project protocol

Verena Lindacher, Philine Altebaeumer, Neil Marlow, Valerie Matthaeus, Iris Nikola Straszewski, Nicole Thiele, Johanna M. Pfeil, Luc J. Zimmermann, Silke Mader*, European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project members

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1433-1438
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number5
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • European collaboration
  • neonatal treatment and care
  • patient representatives
  • preterm birth
  • reference standards

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