Neonatal babies being transferred to Dublin

AS THE neonatal crisis continues, the Herald can confirm babies are, at times, being transferred to maternity hospitals in Dublin as there is no capacity available for them anywhere in the North.
Last month the Herald revealed how sick and premature babies were being transferred away from Fermanagh as a result of cuts to the neonatal unit at SWAH. Commissioned for six specialist cots, this was slashed to two before Christmas meaning the hospital can currently only provide emergency stabilisation and transfers for babies.
The Western Trust said this was due to staff shortages, and now the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has said it is a regional problem.
“All neonatal units in Northern Ireland, including that in SWAH, are part of the neonatal network. At times of pressure in one or more units, communication is made between the units to organise a transfer to a unit where an appropriate cot is available,” said a spokesman.
“On occasions, whenever there are capacity issues across the network, arrangements are in place to transfer babies to one of the three Dublin maternity hospitals which each have a neonatal unit,” the spokesman confirmed.

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