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Original research
Parental views on attending neonatal intensive care ward rounds
  1. Claire Caldwell1,
  2. Victoria MacBean2,
  3. Katie Hunt1,3,
  4. Anne Greenough1,3
  1. 1 Department of Women and Children’s Health, School of Life Course Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Brunel University, London, UK
  3. 3 MRC Centre for Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Anne Greenough; anne.greenough{at}


Objectives To ascertain parental views regarding taking part in neonatal unit ward rounds.

Design A service evaluation project.

Setting Tertiary neonatal intensive care unit.

Patients Parent(s) of infants receiving care on the neonatal unit.

Interventions Structured interviews conducted at the cot side.

Main outcome measures Parents were asked if they knew when ward rounds occurred, whether they had attended ward rounds and if they had not what were the factors inhibiting them from doing so, their experience of attending ward rounds and whether they were concerned about issues of confidentiality.

Results 23 of 24 consecutive parents agreed to be interviewed. The median age of their infants was 14 (range 3 – 123) days when they were interviewed. Eighty-five per cent were able to identify when a nursing handover or doctor’s ward round occurred. Seventy-five per cent of parents had attended at least one ward round and the median score in terms of usefulness was 5 out of 5. Reasons for not attending included time and cost to travel to the unit, their partners were working and having other children. Parents volunteered that the nurses proactively updated them as soon as they arrived, hence making regular attendance less important. Regarding confidentiality, 85% were not concerned if other people overheard information about their baby, unless the news was bad.

Conclusions Parents recognised the value of attending ward rounds and generally found it a positive experience, but emphasised limitations on their ability to attend.

  • neonatal unit
  • parental survey
  • ward rounds

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  • Contributors AG conceived the study; CC collected the data; all of the authors were involved in the analysis; CC wrote the initial draft and all authors were involved in the production of the final manuscript and approved its content.

  • Funding The research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement We agree to data sharing on request.

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