Objective: The Neonatal Early Discharge and Family Support Programme (NEDP) was an initiative aimed at providing extended care for families whose infants had required neonatal special care, thereby allowing earlier discharge.
Methodology: Two groups of families were examined; one before and one after the instigation of the NEDP. Hospital and community service usage and psychosocial effects were examined.
Results: Families who received support were able to be discharged earlier and rooming-in was unnecessary as support was provided at home. Visits to family doctors for mothercraft issues were less frequent. Transport of babies from the Level 3 nursery to other nurseries in order to be closer to home was also provided by the nursing team, saving on ambulance costs and freeing their time for emergencies. There was no increase in maternal anxiety and infants were less difficult in the patient group.
Conclusions: NEDP and family support programme is a worthwhile extension of neonatal intensive care.