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These standards refer to the care of the neonate who requires an additional level of care to that of a normal well newborn. Usually this care will be provided within a neonatal unit. The Standards also cover the transition period following discharge from hospital to the primary care team at home.

Definitions of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 care.

Level 2

Because of the fluctuating need for care and in order to ensure reasonable occupancy and value for money from level 2 facilities, it is expected that level 2 units will have at least 3,500 births per annum.


The term ‘parents’ is used to include mothers, fathers, carers and other adults with responsibility for caring for a neonate.