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Funding neonatal staff for European Academy of Paediatric Societies (EAPS 2022) in Barcelona

Hilary Cruickshank

Lead Neonatal Physiotherapist

Simpson Special Care Babies funded me to attend the 9th Congress of European Academy of Paediatric Societies (EAPS 2022) in Barcelona by Hilary Cruickshank, Lead Neonatal Physiotherapist.

In October 2022 I was fortunate enough to be supported to attend the EAPS 2022 congress in Barcelona.

This was an amazing opportunity to listen to so many incredible talks and hear about the latest advances in neonatal medicine.

The conference ran over 5 days and offered the opportunity for workshops as well as lectures. There were over 3000 delegates from over 100 countries, it was so interesting listening to what colleagues from other countries are doing.

As well as so many incredible presentations there were poster stations where you could view posters and at set times listen to presentations. I had 2 posters and was chosen to present both of them which was a great opportunity to share the excellent work we do at Simpsons and some of the novel approaches we use which are of such benefit to our families.

There were also good opportunities to network leading to better working relationships in Scotland as well as the opportunity to take part in some ground-breaking studies, meaning the babies born at Simpsons will be some of the first in the country to benefit from new therapies.

There were presentations on the newest therapies and latest studies as well as talks on global health in the neonatal population and the effects of socioeconomic deprivation. It was interesting to hear talks on follow up which highlighted what a great service we provide at Simpsons. There were talks on the lifelong effects of prematurity on all systems of the body with strong evidence that no interventions are as impactful as the interventions before 4 years of age. Reinforcing how important it is to provide early intervention to our vulnerable infants.

Thank you for this opportunity it was really inspiring and I took so much away from the conference itself as well as making stronger connections with the team who were there form The Simpson Neonatal Unit.

Hester Blair

Specialist Neonatal Dietitian

I was delighted to be able to attend this conference in Barcelona in October 2022 which was made possible due to funding from Simpsons Special Care Babies. In addition to attending the conference I was also invited to develop a poster following the acceptance of an abstract on post discharge fortifier. This abstract had been submitted earlier this year with medical colleagues Dr Angela Davidson and Dr Adeniyi Ajiboye, using local initial data from a new practice to improve post-natal nutrition. Developing this poster encouraged me to delve deeper into our data and consider further improvements to management.

We have already acted on our findings with further advances planned. As it has been some time since I have been involved in this type of activity it presented an opportunity for professional growth which I very much enjoyed and was well supported by the Simpsons team in doing.

The EAPS congress developed a comprehensive scientific programme encouraging delegates to consider the future of paediatric health. There was a significant portion of lectures and posters dedicated to neonatology. I felt particularly fortunate to be able to meet and listen to eminent authors of neonatal nutrition literature talk about their research and experience which is so valuable when it comes to considering positive changes locally. I was particularly interested to hear about thoughts regarding management of parenteral nutrition particularly to optimise bone health.

In addition, I was interested to deepen my understanding of the improvement of nutrition during the phase where parenteral nutrition is transitioned to enteral feeds for infants born < 32/40. There were thought provoking lectures on growth assessment of preterm infants which promoted discussion on the debates on what we are aiming for as well as what we are not. Discharge planning and family centred care were discussed also. Management of nutrition for moderate preterms was also an area of interest which led to great discussions with colleagues and thoughts about optimising nutrition management. In addition, so many lectures were filled with information on the benefits of maternal breastmilk which is so important in core nutrition management for all infants but particularly preterms.

I felt really fortunate to be able to attend this conference with other colleagues from Simpsons. Being there as a team was so useful and really helped us to connect and develop our collective understanding of the content that we learned at the conference. Listening to each other’s opinions and ideas about how to incorporate the learning was exciting and a reminder of the passion that exists in this team to improve current management to not only support babies and families on the unit but also positively influence later outcomes.

Thank you, Simpsons Special Care Babies, for providing me with this unique opportunity. It was very much appreciated.


Learn more about Advanced Staff Training - Funding the most Advanced Staff Training & Professional Development in The Simpson Neonatal Unit


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