NHS Greater Glasgow Clyde (NHSGGC) and NHS Ayrshire and Arran are set to be early adopters of a new model of intensive neonatal care.
The 5-year plan, backed by a £12m investment, will see new mums and their babies receive additional support through a range of measures set to transform maternity and neonatal services across Scotland.
There are approximately 55,000 births a year in Scotland, and 6,500 babies are admitted to neonatal care. Of these, 1000 are admitted to the High Dependency Unit and around 1,500 are admitted to neonatal intensive care.
It is proposed that all expectant mums receive care from a primary midwife for their whole maternity journey, and support will be on hand to help parents with babies in neonatal units. The change aims to keep babies who need a higher level of care with their mums, allowing for as much day-to-day care with the newborn as possible.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “These steps to transform our maternity services will ensure mums, babies and other family members are all supported from pregnancy to birth and after.
“We are looking at community maternity services right through to the care for the most premature babies, where we know outcomes are improved when they are in a unit with a higher throughput of cases and where support services, such as surgery, are nearby.”
The new model will be tested at four sites to help ensure babies that need the most specialist care can get the best start possible.
It is planned that, by summer, babies from Crosshouse Hospital who need the most specialist care will be treated at the Royal Hospital for Children, before returning to their local neonatal unit.
The plan will be implemented between the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy later this year.