Evidence into Practice – Neonatal Workstream


Maternal and child health is a priority highlighted in the Route Map to the 2020 vision for health and social care in Scotland.   Our work aims to create sustained improvements to the quality of care given to mothers and babies.

The Evidence into Practice project within this Workstream, aims to provide an insight into the mechanisms of implementation to support large-scale sustainable change; transferrable to all areas of health and social care improvement.

The first Evidence into Practice project focuses on improving breastfeeding and parent-baby attachment through kangaroo care in neonatal units across Scotland.

Our Current Focus

We are currently analysing data from three regional workshops held across Scotland.  During the workshops barriers, strategies and best practice were gathered in relation to evidence based statements on improving breastfeeding and kangaroo care practices in neonatal units.

Thoughts about the workshops can be seen in our "talking heads" video clip below.

What's Been Happening

Initially, evidence-based statements were gathered to form an online consultation and staff were asked to identify what impact these evidence-based recommendations would have within their units and how feasible it would be to implement these. 

The results of this online consultation process have been presented to key stakeholders from neonatal units across Scotland and included representatives from parent advocate groups.  Three regional workshops were held in March and April 2017, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Three regional workshops were then held in March and April 2017, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

The workshops enabled further consultation and consideration of the evidence-base that supports breastfeeding and skin-to-skin kangaroo care practice in neonatal units.  During the workshops, delegates were invited to explore the barriers to implementation and share strategies and bright ideas in relation to the evidence base.  In addition the delegates were encouraged to share good practice examples and key messages from wider discussions were captured.

As well as examining the evidence-base in detail; delegates had the opportunity to learn more about Government policies, Baby Friendly Initiative activities, patient safety initiatives and examples of great practice from across Scotland and Sweden, supporting breastfeeding and parent-baby attachment. 

Details of the agendas, film clips and presentations from the workshops are available by visiting Evidence into Practice: Neonatal Workshops.


Key People


Next Steps

Recognising that not all neonatal unit staff could attend the regional workshops and that different views and ideas were shared at each one; an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data captured has been completed.  A booklet summarising the main barriers and enablers in relation to both kangaroo skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding at an organisational, unit and individual level was disseminated to all key stakeholders.  An infographic highlighting the key themes which had emerged from the data was also used as a tool to generate discussion and engagement with the project at all phases.

In preparation for a national workshop held on 1st May 2018, SISCC produced a report on the Evidence into Practice (EiP) approach including a summary of all the findings from the online and workshop consultations as well as the impact and feasibility scores of embedding the evidence-based statements into routine practice.  This report formed the basis of the discussions and exercises at the workshop.

Invitations to the national workshop were extended to NHS Boards, Third Sector organisations and Academics in the field.  Over 70 delegates came together to discuss the evidence on kangaroo skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding in neonatal units, share practice and begin the process of action planning.  The delegates heard various presentations which addressed many of the barriers and enablers to embedding the evidence into routine care.  A number of tools to aid the process of action planning were also discussed and given to delegates in the form of a toolkit to take away.  All presentations, films and paperwork are available on Evidence into Practice: Neonatal Workshops.  There was a fantastic "can do" atmosphere throughout the day and SISCC would like to thank all who participated.  


In addition to the improvement and implementation work that’s being undertaken, the SISCC team are currently undertaking a detailed evaluation using this evidence-into-practice approach to gain a better understanding of the elements that support large-scale sustainable change and strengthen the evidence-base for improvement and implementation science.

Evaluation Protocol Summary 


Outputs from the Evidence into Practice Workstream can be accessed on our publications page.

Useful Links