About the National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP)

The NNAP supports professionals, families and commissioners to improve care provided by neonatal services who look after babies born too early, with a low birth weight or who have a medical condition requiring specialist treatment.


Established in 2006, the National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP) is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). The NNAP is funded by NHS England, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government, and is delivered by the RCPCH. We are currently contracted to deliver the NNAP to the end of March 2022.

The NNAP assesses whether babies admitted to neonatal units in England, Scotland and Wales receive consistent high quality care. We identify areas for quality improvement in relation to the delivery and outcomes of care.

What we measure

The NNAP looks at around 15 areas of care provided to babies born premature or unwell; this includes measures focussing on processes, outcomes and parental involvement in care.

The NNAP Project Board conducts a regular review of the NNAP dataset and audit measures in close consultation with the wider neonatal community, taking note of the publication or amendment of any relevant professional guidance and/or standards.

 The NNAP project team notifies participating neonatal networks and units of any changes to the audit dataset, prior to those changes being implemented.

2021 audit measures

For the 2021 data year (1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021) we have introduced a new measure focussing on neonatal preterm brain injury in very preterm babies.

An additional question has been added to the 'parental presence on consultant ward rounds' measure which asks: 'What proportion of consultant-led ward rounds had at least one parent present?'

For more information about these changes, and all other measures within the 2021 data year, download the guide to the 2021 audit measures below.

Audit measures from previous years

You can download guides to the audit measures from 2014 to 2020 below.

Data flow

A diagram describing the flow of English and Welsh data in the NNAP can be downloaded below.

Outlier management policy

The NNAP manages outlier management according to the RCPCH detection and management of outlier status for clinical indicators policy. This and the NNAP outlier management policy for 2019 data are available to download below.

NHS quality accounts

The National Neonatal Audit Programme is included in the NHS England Quality Accounts list, which is available from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) website.

HQIP also publishes the National Clinical Audit and Enquiries Directory which should answer most of your questions relating to the NNAP.

All neonatal units in England, Wales and Scotland are eligible to participate in the NNAP. The audit expects 100% case ascertainment from participating units. To find the list of participating units and the number of patients included in the audit for the latest published year of results, please consult the Annual Report (Appendix A).

Unit level results by NNAP measure can be found on NNAP Online.