What is FiCare?
Family Integrated Care, or FiCare, is a term you may hear a lot on the neonatal unit. The aim of FiCare is to create a good working partnership between parents and the staff on the neonatal unit, so you become actively involved in the care of your baby from admission through to discharge, you play a key role in information sharing and decision making relating to the care of your baby, and are encouraged to engage with the neonatal team as much as possible. Within the FiCare model you will be supported and encouraged to tend to your baby’s everyday needs.
Parent Education Sessions
FiCare may appear daunting initially, especially when your baby is very tiny. It is important that you remember you will not be expected to do anything you are uncomfortable with. The unit will run parent education sessions where you will receive training on things such as tube feeding, giving oral medication, and taking and recording observations. The aim of these sessions is to provide you with skills and knowledge to safely care for your baby on the neonatal unit, as well as improve your confidence in caring for your baby both on the unit and at home. Group parent education sessions are also a really good chance for you to meet other parents and support each other.
As part of the FiCare model you may be invited to take part in the ward rounds and nursing handovers relating to your baby. During ward rounds you will be encouraged to talk to the doctors about any concerns or questions you may have about your baby.
Research shows that integrating parents into the team caring for the baby can have a positive effect on the health and well being of the baby and their parents. FiCare empowers parents to be parents on the neonatal unit. Ficare increases the parents’ confidence in caring for their baby. Evidence also suggest FiCare increases breastfeeding rates and reduces readmissions to hospital once the baby has been discharged from neonatal care. FiCare promotes bonding and attachment and can have a positive impact on the parents’ and infants mental health.
Our peer support volunteers work with the neonatal units to support FiCare, particularly around parent education. We have a good working partnership with the North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network and we have been part of the special interest group involved in rolling out FiCare across the North West.