National Neonatal Audit Programme Summary report on 2021 data

This report summarises the key messages and national recommendations developed by consensus by the NNAP Project Board and Methodology and Dataset Group, based on NNAP data relating to babies discharged from neonatal care in England and Wales between January and December 2021, unless otherwise stated. Scottish data is not included in this report; however, Scottish neonatal services will re-join the audit from the 2022 data year.

Mum kissing her baby in a neonatal unit
Last year's overall winner - photo of Olivia-Grace courtesy of Danielle Benedict
Last modified
11 August 2023


The National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP) assesses whether babies admitted to neonatal units receive consistent high quality care in relation to the NNAP audit measures that are aligned to a set of professionally agreed guidelines and standards. The NNAP also identifies variation in the provision of neonatal care at local unit, regional network and national levels and supports stakeholders to use audit data to stimulate improvement in care delivery and outcomes.

The audit reports key outcomes of neonatal care, measures of optimal perinatal care, maternal breastmilk feeding, parental partnership, neonatal nurse staffing levels and other important care processes.

This year the summary report includes a Results at a glance page, a useful infographic that you can see and download below. Additional resources include Your baby's care, the parent guide to the annual report (see more detail below), and unit specific posters.

The summary report and other resources can be downloaded below.

At a glance

Further information and resources

Appendix A NNAP 2021 data results: This provides in-depth results and a summary of findings by audit measure, along with next steps and resources. Download Appendix A below

Next steps and resources for improvement: Neonatal services and Trusts/Health Boards can access their full results at unit and network level, interactive reporting tools and unit posters on NNAP Online.

Local quality improvement recommendations: A recommendations table, including additional local quality improvement recommendations made to neonatal services is available below

NNAP 2021 data line of sight table: This describes the evidence base for the recommendations made in this report. Download the data line of sight table below

Further information about the background, aims, and scope of the NNAP is available on our page, About the NNAP.

Data from the audit years 2010-2020

For parents and families

Your baby's care is the parent and carer guide to the annual report, and has been updated to cover 2021 data. The guide is available in both English and Welsh.

The guide covers the NNAP measures most relevant to parents and carers, as chosen by parents and carers of preterm babies, supported by neonatologists. It includes images and quotes from parents and carers of preterm babies who received neonatal care. We encourage neonatologists and paediatricians to share it with parents.

You can find out more about how we use information about babies experiencing neonatal care and their mothers on our Your baby's information page.