European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project

European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project is an interdisciplinary European collaboration to develop standards of care for key topics in newborn health. The project brings together more than 220 healthcare professionals of different professions, parent representatives and selected industry specialists, from more than 35 countries.

Landmark in the Land of Ideas


The European Standards of Care for Newborn Health has been awarded one of the most innovative “Landmarks 2017” of the initiative Germany – Land of Ideas

View more (website of the initiative, in German)

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11 months – 11 topics


With our communication motto 11 months – topics, we focus our social media and online communication on one newborn health topic per month. For eleven months from February to December, the topics were selected so that they correspond to the themes of the eleven Topic Expert Groups of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project.

We explain the work of the different Topic Expert Group, give you an insight into the standard topics they deal with in each group, and share Lighthouse examples of projects realised by members of our network or others active in neonatal care.

Video interviews on newborn health topics

Within the new edition of 11 months – 11 topics, we started a video series with interviews with the Chairs of the 11 Topics Expert Groups of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project. Every month, we will launch a new video clip.

Interview series with the Chair Teams of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project

In 2016, we started our communication motto 11 months – 11 topics: From February to December 2016, we published interviews with all Chair Teams from the 11 Topic Expert Groups of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project to get an insight about the hot topics and major challenges in their field.

Chair Committee Meetings

5th Chair Committee Meeting 2018, Freising

The launch of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health is continuously getting closer and we have taken another important step towards finalising the standards successfully.

From 25 to 27 February 2018, more than 30 experts from 16 countries gathered at the 5th and final Chair Committee Meeting of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project in Freising, Germany. In intense working session, different Chair Committee Groups discussed and firmed up the remaining 60 of the in total 100 standards. The meeting also offered the opportunity to organise the launch of the standards which is scheduled for November 2018 and to prepare the implementation process. Moreover, every Topic Expert Group, responsible for one of the eleven neonatal and perinatal topics, got the chance to present their work of the past four years.

4th Chair Committee Meeting 2017, Freising

More than 40 experts from 17 countries formed a powerful international group at the 4th Chair Committee Meeting of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project from 21 to 23 May 2017 in Freising, Germany. In different working groups, they intensively discussed and finalised the first part of the submitted standards in eleven key areas of newborn health.

3rd Chair Committee Meeting 2016, Berlin

From 11 to 12 April 2016, the members of the Chair Committee of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project came together for the 3rd Chair Committee Meeting in Berlin. The focus of the meeting was the ongoing project work. To that aim, all Chair Teams presented the work of their Topic Expert Groups and all the participants were given a project review and outlook presentations by the EFCNI project team.

2nd Chair Committee Meeting 2015, Munich

The 2nd Chair Committee meeting of the European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project took place from 15 to 16 June 2015 in Eching, Germany. We are delighted that all members of EFCNI’s Parent Advisory Board as well as the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the project’s working groups could attend the meeting. During the two days of intense work, the project moved an important step forward.

1st Chair Committee Meeting 2014, Munich

On 10 and 11 September 2014 we started our new project to draft European Standards of Care for Newborn Health. 42 participants from all over Europe took part in a journey to enable every baby the best start in life.

Official start of EFCNI’s European Standards of Care for Newborn Health project

We are very happy and excited about the start of EFCNI’s Standards of Care for Newborn Health project, EFCNI’s next milestone to tackle inequalities in newborn health in Europe. The official project start was on the occasion of the opening event of the Socks for Life art exhibition in the European Parliament in Brussels on 7 April 2014.

Following the handover of European votes for the Call for Action by former preterm infants to Vice President of the European Parliament Rainer Wieland, the stakeholders present officially declared to collaboratively work on European-wide Standards of Care for Newborn Health. The need for harmonised standards and their development in a collaborative approach have been endorsed by many healthcare societies and parent organisations. All of them have visualised their support with their logo. Visitors of the exhibition could equally show their support through their signature.

The project

This collaborative project under the auspices of EFCNI will bring together health experts, professional societies, civil society organisations, representatives of national parent organisations, third party advisors and industry partners to develop harmonised standards for the care of preterm and newborn infants in Europe. The standards will cover all topics from care at birth, neonatal intensive care as well as follow up and continuing care to ethical questions, education of neonatal health professionals, data collection and documentation. To this end, interdisciplinary Topic Expert Groups will be dedicated to one topic of newborn health. The standards will run through an extensive consultation process before being publically available online. We are confident that providing a set of expert-developed standards for newborn health will be an important step towards improving the quality of preterm and newborn care in Europe.

A brief review

This project will tie in directly with EFCNI’s previous work against inequalities in maternal and newborn health in Europe.

In 2010, EFCNI published an EU Benchmarking Report ‘Too Little, Too Late’ to help capture for policy makers the impact of prematurity across Europe. This report painted a compelling picture of the differences that exist in levels of care when it comes to maternal and newborn health in Europe. It also began a reflection process amongst parents, medical professionals, academics and industry partners to move from an identification of the various provisions that EU Member States have made for newborn infants, to concrete proposals for improving the standards of care in Europe.

The next milestone was the publication of the EFCNI White Paper on Maternal and Newborn Health in 2011. In this report, health care providers from different disciplines and professions as well as parents and professional societies were asked to provide their perspectives on challenges and evidence-based recommendations in the field of pre-conceptional, maternal, newborn care, follow-up and continuing care. As a result of these contributions, a set of key recommendations for each field were developed.

The next logical step is the development of harmonised standards that will incorporate and expand on these key recommendations. This will be achieved by EFCNI’s Standards of Care for Newborn Health project.

The whole project is kindly supported by AbbVie, Baxter, Philips Avent, Shire and Nestlé Nutrition Institute.