Dr Donovan Duffy

Dr Donovan Duffy, Consultant Neonatologist, features across two episodes of Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles.

Since 2012, he has been one of 10 consultants working in our neonatal unit at St George’s to provide specialist care for our smallest and sickest babies, many of whom are born prematurely and require surgery.

Here, we speak to him more…

What made you want to get into this area of medicine?

In South Africa, where I did my undergraduate training, very preterm babies could not be offered intensive care. One of my first posts in the UK was here, at St George’s, on the neonatal unit. I was inspired to see parents taking extremely preterm babies home and how this was made possible – teamwork, technical expertise, training and multidisciplinary decision making often balancing fine ethical risks and benefits.

How did you find filming for Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles?

I was initially concerned that filming would be intrusive for parents and clinicians at a stressful time. But the production team were very professional and their communication was excellent. They were creative fitting into our neonatal intensive care environment and surrounding areas without being disruptive.

What has been your favourite part of being involved with the series?

How parents were so open to their sensitive story being filmed and hearing them say they did it to raise awareness to help other parents in similar circumstances.

Why did you want to be a part of this series?  

The series captures the long and uncertain journey mothers and fathers take from very early on in the pregnancy to getting their baby home or not. What parents have been through, how clinicians and services need to support them must never be underestimated.

What would you say to someone who is interested in progressing into a similar career?

You will spend a lot of time talking to and supporting parents as well as discussing problems with colleagues to guide decision making. Take every opportunity to develop your communication and team working skills. Even at a time of loss, most families will be very appreciative if you’ve communicated well and they see the team functioning effectively.