Thames Valley and Wessex Neonatal Network

The delivery of neonatal care for premature and sick babies is organised into geographical areas where hospitals work together, and these are called neonatal operational delivery networks. Operational delivery networks, or ODNs, are formal structures in which hospital Trusts, commissioners and patients work together to optimise healthcare and ensure the best possible outcomes. The Thames Valley and Wessex (TVW) neonatal ODN covers an area where there are approximately 60,000 births each year.  Across TVW there are 13 acute trusts and 14 hospitals delivering neonatal care.

The ODN focuses on coordinating patient pathways between hospitals over a wide area to ensure access to specialist resources and expertise. There may be occasions that necessitate transfer to different hospitals either within or outside of a network to access the specialist care required. The ODN needs to ensure that cot capacity throughout the region is maintained, therefore when a baby is well enough, they will be transferred back to the family’s local hospital for ongoing high dependency or special care.

The purpose of a neonatal operational delivery network

  • To provide care as close to home as possible for babies and their families
  • To monitor service and clinical quality against national neonatal standards through audit, benchmarking and research
  • To provide safe and equitable care across the network
  • To develop neonatal workforce strategies to support services and ensure future sustainability
  • To support neonatal families as partners in care and embed co-production ensuring the service user voice is heard
  • To provide accessible education and training programmes for clinical staff
  • To promote and share evidence-based practice and lead on quality improvement
  • To promote team working and communication
  • To develop, implement and monitor neonatal clinical pathways
  • To develop and implement neonatal clinical practice guidelines

To find out more about the Thames Valley and Wessex neonatal operational delivery network visit their website.

Thames Valley and Wessex neonatal transport is provided by the Southampton Oxford Neonatal Transport service (SONeT), a dedicated team of specialist neonatal nurses and doctors. You can find out more about the service on the SONeT website.