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SP2 Drug information for parents/carers taking babies home – Survey of healthcare professionals and parents/carers
  1. Neil Caldwell
  1. Wirral University Teaching Hospital


Aim The aim of this multicentre study was to find out what parents/carers and healthcare professionals (HCPs) think about the current provision of information for parents/carers about medicines following discharge from neonatal units in UK and Ireland.

Method HCPs in the UK and Ireland were identified using a stakeholder map. An electronic survey was developed and circulated to HCPs involved in the care of neonates at the five study sites and shared on social media. Parents were recruited via social media, parent support groups, in-patient and clinic settings.

Results HCPs 155 HCPs responded: 41% nurses, 34% pharmacists, 11% doctors; the remainder were a mixture of professions. The majority had over 5 years’ experience. 58% were aware of medicines resources or information being used at their hospital, the most popular method being face to face information given individually, followed by written information.

When asked which HCPs were best placed to provide information about medicines, ‘nurses’ were the most common response. When asked about the best time to provide information, ‘throughout the stay’ was felt to be the most appropriate time, however, in practice they reported that information was typically given immediately prior to discharge. The move to Family Integrated Care has led to improvements with many units now involving parents in the medicine administration process at a much earlier stage.

Parents A total of 87 parents/carers completed the e-survey. 72% parents/carers had ‘none’, or ‘very little experience’ of giving medicines to children prior to their baby’s hospital stay. Only 53% received information about medicines prior to discharge. However, 48% of respondents were administering 4 or more medicines on discharge. 24% of parents/carers reported feeling stressed about giving medicines. Challenges with medicines following discharge were reported by 47%. Printed information was the preferred format for medicines resources (57%).

Conclusion The findings from HCPs highlighted the importance of the ‘timing of information’ and involving parents at an earlier stage could be helpful in preparation for discharge. The results from parents show there are significant shortfalls in the existing provision of information about giving medicines to their babies at home. These findings will inform the co-design of new information resources about medicines for parents and carers taking babies home.

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