Physios Must Provide Support for Premature Babies
According to a new clinical guideline, neonatal physiotherapists should be part of the follow up team to provide premature babies with surveillance assessments and developmental support, from birth up until the age of two.
The guideline, published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), states that there are around 50,000 preterm babies born here in the UK each year. It goes on to highlight that these babies are at risk of different developmental obstacles ranging from physical and sensory challenges to cognitive and learning disorders. Therefore, NICE believe it’s imperative that physios are made readily available to these babies up until they turn two years old.
Hilary Cruickshank, spoke out on behalf of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists’ (APCP) neonatal committee and declared that she fully supported the new guideline.
She commented: “It highlights the important role of the neonatal physiotherapist as part of the multidisciplinary team in both neonatal intensive care units/special care baby units”. She goes on to say “Neonatal physiotherapists are highly skilled practitioners and experts in the type of assessment required to look for deficit at two years in order to access appropriate therapy interventions at the earliest opportunity for these vulnerable infants”