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Pre-birth (Unborn) tools and pathways

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This scope of this protocol is to support practitioners with a clear pathway to assist with the decision making process when undertaking pre-birth assessments.

The pre-birth protocol was devised to assist practitioners with practice guidance when conducting pre-birth assessments, particularly when there are potential safeguarding concerns.

The protocol was devised, in conjunction with health and legal services, to avoid delay in planning for babies when they are born. In some circumstances babies have been born without a clear plan for discharge. If it was not possible to discharge to their parents’ care babies would remain in hospital whilst either legal advice was sought or alternative care arrangements put into place.

Provisions in the Children and Family Act 2014 stipulate what should happen before the initiation of public law proceedings. Pre proceedings legal meetings offer free legal advice to parents and should agree arrangements for the baby before discharge, particularly if the plan is not to discharge to their care. This protocol has included this provision.

The protocol is therefore designed to assist practitioners to consider early identification of concerns and support that may be offered to families in order to act in a timely way when babies are born.


This page is correct as printed on Saturday 25th of June 2022 02:07:22 PM please refer back to this website ( for updates.