The Health and Social Care Act (2012) emphasises the importance of integrated care across the National Health Service (NHS). ‘Integrated care is not about structures, organisations or pathways – it is about better outcomes and experiences for services users’ (NHS Future Forum, 2016). Integrated care is growing in momentum across the whole NHS and neonatal care is no exception with the introduction of Family Integrated Care (FiCare) into its neonatal units.
FiCare is a relatively new model of care started in 2013 by Dr Shoo Lee who was intrigued about the feasibility of introducing a care by parent model of care to his NICU in Canada. Unlike previous family centred care approaches, this new parent model of care places parents at the heart of care giving, being based on the Humane Care Model already widely operational in neonatal units in Estonia. The FiCare model is an extension of the principles of Family Centred Care. The goal of FiCare is to facilitate a partnership and collaboration between parents and the NICU staff, to promote parent-infant interactions, and to build parent confidence. FiCare represents a paradigm shift in thinking about the way in which healthcare is delivered. FiCare invites parents in to become part of the primary care team, moving away from traditional care delivery by only highly trained healthcare professionals.
The NWNODN recognises the myriad of health benefits the models promotes and as a result have established a FICare Specialist Interest Group (SIG). The SIG is made up of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and parents who are working closely together to examine how this model can benefit all families and clinician within our network.
The SIG have agreed FiCare will be defined across the NWNODN as:
‘Family integrated care (FiCare) is a model that supports and educates parents and carers to become integral participants in their baby’s care from the time of admission to the neonatal unit in partnership with the neonatal team’
For further information about the network approach to FiCare across the NWNODN please contact: