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Expressions of interest for infant neuroprotective care workstream

Wednesday, June 15, 2022   Posted in: Vacancies By: Administrator With tags: vacancies, children, support, policy, families

The Child Development and Disability Clinical Network are developing a workstream to explore the current status of the provision of neuroprotective and developmental care services delivered by allied health professionals (OT, PT and SLT) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and early infancy in New Zealand.

Allied health (OT, PT and SLT) is an essential part of the NICU/SCBU team, yet for many years there has been an inequity in babies or parents accessing allied health support in the neonatal unit. Funding and resourcing varies from DHB to DHB and the majority of regional units have no funding at all. Historically, this work has been picked up by Child Development Services (CDS) in many regional units, as paediatric therapists have the knowledge and skill set most closely aligned to neonatal therapy. However there is no funding for this, and it takes therapy time and resource away from the other services that CDS provide.

A rapidly expanding body of evidence supports the improved scope of outcomes for pēpi and parents or whānau when allied health (OT/PT/SLT) are considered an integral member of the NICU/SCBU team and a comprehensive neuroprotective developmental care model delivered by OT/PT and SLT is applied in the NICU/SCBU setting.

This project aims to:

  1. Provide an overview of literature and best practice evidence on neonatal therapy and the impact on supporting the infant-parent relationship, neuro developmental outcomes and cost benefit.
  2. Complete a benchmarking exercise in which findings will serve as a foundational document to guide the policy, practice and delivery of consistent allied health (OT/PT and SLT) services in the NICU/SCBU units across New Zealand.

This project relates closely to the wider work of the Child Development and Disability Clinical Network, Newborn Clinical Network and Cerebral Palsy Clinical Network which are engaged in supporting resources, enhancing resources services and outcomes for children with neuro disability and developmental issues. Our intention is for this project to be a collaborative project dependent on input from the Newborn and CP clinical network members.

The Child Development and Disability Clinical Network are looking for experts in this field to join the workstream and support the project.

If you are interested in contributing to this new neuroprotective and developmental care workstream then contact either:

  • Workstream lead Dani (Danielle.Atkins[at]; or
  • Facilitator Pari (cddcn[at]