Jeana Arnott, Neonatal Clinical Educator from NHS Fife shared her experience of developing and implementing a new neo natal level 3 support worker into the neonatal unit in NHS Fife.

Jeana was supported by Skills for Health to develop the role using their role development template methodology which uses national occupational standards (core for the level) and the identification of specific NOS for the role, career framework levelling and the identification of indicative learning and development supported with evaluation planning and on going support.

Neonatal Support Worker Role at NHS Fife. The support worker will act as a member of the care team within the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and maternity under the supervision of midwives, neonatal nurses and other professional staff. The aim of introducing this role is to improve the care provided to new born babies and to improve the experiences of the parents who require their babies to be cared for. The introduction of the role will  enable the more effective use of time for registered staff members. The types of tasks the role will undertake will include; hearing screening, undertaking bloodletting – heal stab samples, nasal gastric tubes, teaching parents to pass the tube for babies and assistance with breast feeding.Unlike registered roles in this area their attention will not be pulled in the direction of other supervisory or management duties or the reporting of compliance. The role will also have a focus on nurturing the skills and behaviours or parents of babies that require specialist care.They will provide a continuity of care for babies however they will also work hard to prepare parents for the eventual discharge to home.Having the level 3 roles undertake these tasks will enable registered staff to concentrate on more complex cases.This focus will therefore lead to more effective use of registered staff.

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