GUIDELINE FOR USING THE NEONATAL HOTLINE FOR IN UTERO TRANSFER REQUESTS
The neonatal service for the former Northern Region covers a population of approximately 3.2 million, with 30,000 births annually. Four "provider" units (based in Newcastle, sunderland, Stockton on Tees and Middlesbrough) perform approximately 85% of the neonatal intensive care, with 11 "non-provider" units performing mostly special care. The concentrating of neonatal intensive care services into the provider units means that perinatal transfers are inevitable.
Requests for in-uterotransfer are made via the neonatal hotline (0191 230 3020). As a general rule the hotline receives calls from whitelhaven, Carlisle, Hexham, Wansbeck, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderalnd and Durham.
In the south part of the deanery, Harlepool,North Tees, Darlington and Bishop Auckland, James Cook University Hospital often arrange transfers without recourse to the hotline in the first instance. It is advised that any referralsmade in this way are notified to the hotline sunsequently because failure to do so may lead to under funding of these services.
In utero transfer requests should only be made if a consultant obstetrician intends to transfer a patient, as locating a cot may take considerable time. Requests made via the hotlines will be answered by neonatal staff who will ask for
1. Clinical details of the patien.t
2. The name of the referring consultant and their contact details.
The neonatal staff with then:
1. Identify an available neonatal cot
2. Either pass the details to the on-call consultant obstetrician in that unit who will contact the referring consultant
will ask the referring consultant to speak to the on-call consultant obstetrician at the accepting unit.
Lower gestationa age limit
Only under excetional circumstances will central units accept patients under 24 weeks and 0 days.
S A Bober 8/05