COCOON – placing the baby and family at the centre of everything we do, every day



Illness and separation at a critical time for infant-parent attachment have adverse effects on infant and parent mental health. COCOON, which stands for the Circle of Care Optimising Outcomes for Newborns, is the patient-centred, family-integrated and baby-led model of care we designed to minimise these adverse effects in the complex medical and surgical NICU population, although the core principles can be applied in any healthcare setting.

In this Grand Round, our multidisciplinary team comprising RCH clinicians and consumers, will describe the COCOON journey from conception to implementation, including some bumps in the road along the way, which were overcome with the support of the RCH Foundation and the creation of the COCOON Care Coordinator role. We will discuss the relevant scientific literature and international guidelines that were used to inform development alongside staff, consumer and other stakeholder input. We will detail the resources that form the 3 Pillars of COCOON, used by our staff every day to mentor and coach families to maintain the parenting role, and share some results on the positive impacts of COCOON experienced by our staff and consumers to date. We will wrap-up by sharing our future plans for upscaling this model and further studying its impacts, including outcomes for infant and parent mental health outcomes.



Dr Leah Hickey is Director of Neonatal Medicine and COCOON Project Lead at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Dr Megan Chapman is Senior Clinical Psychologist and Infant Mental Health Team Coordinator at RCH.

Ms Jenna Rhodes is the Inaugural COCOON Care Coordinator.

Ms Polly St. John and Mr Arnie Krishnan are the current COCOON Care Coordinators.

Ms Emma Davison is a Music Therapist.



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