Blog: Ideas for improving neonatal care

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At our recent Neonatal Conference we asked delegates to share their ideas for how to improve care for sick and preterm babies and their families. We were really inspired to hear all the great work that’s taking place across the UK to support our most vulnerable babies. Here we showcase some of the ideas that staff shared. If you’d like to share your idea on this page, contact us now.

“Working towards and achieving Stage 2 has been the most amazing experience of my 30 years in neonatal care. Two years ago there was a half-hearted interest by most staff members – but it was obvious there was a lack of deep understanding of the standards. Progress was very slow. Booking a date for Stage 2 was the most motivating factor. Gradually then with amazing momentum everyone bought into it with teamwork that I’d never experienced before and drive and determination from core groups we approached our assessment with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Please please encourage units to book a date, it’s amazing what can happen.” May Nisbet, Ayrshire Neonatal Unit

“Provide campbeds for parents on NNU.” Kerry Porter, Neonatal Unit Newcross Hospital Wolverhampton

“Our units have ipads for mothers who are too ill to see their baby on the unit. We facetime each other enabling her to see and speak to her baby.” Natalie O’Dell, Royal Glamorgan & Prince Charles South Wales

Working towards and achieving Stage 2 has been the most amazing experience of my 30 years in neonatal care ... Please please encourage units to book a date, it’s amazing what can happen.

May Nisbet, Ayrshire Neonatal Unit

“Improve access to breast pumps for all neonatal mums” Linda Page – Ipswich

“For babies requiring septic screen and IV antibiotics but not requiring admission to the neonatal unit – to perform the screen and give antibiotics in the delivery room, possibly while skin-to-skin.” Illana Levene, John Radcliffe, Oxford

“To encourage our breastfeeding team, family integrated care team and developmental care team to work together to achieve good progress; ‘stronger together.'” Vicky Olson, Worcestershire Royal NICU

“To include parents in our neonatal Baby Friendly group. To improve communication and hear more from parents about how to make them feel like partners in care.” Melissa Clements, NHS Lothian, Neonatal & Special Care Units

“Baby diaries – for parents, grandparents, siblings, nurses, doctors to write in tracks progression, feelings, emotions, and photos of baby are taken and printed to put in.” Chloe Maurice, University Hospital of North Midlands

“Our sewing room has made slings to help improve our skin-to-skin rates. Mothers feel more secured and prolong skin to skin contact time.” Kathryn Ashton, Wrightington Wigan & Leigh NHS FT

"...Minimise separation and encourage parents as primary caregivers." 

Gillian Bowker, RHC Glasgow

“24 hours access has been introduced – difficult to start with as staff that didn’t want to change, now gradually we are all coming on board as they can see the impact from parents – more involved, better understanding of care and less complaints, more satisfaction.” Theresa Alexander, NNU St George’s Hospital London

“We have our HUGG (helping us grow group) team working with parents and staff to facilitate family integrated care – minimising separation and encouraging parents as primary caregivers.” Gillian Bowker, RHC Glasgow

“We have introduced colostrum packs with great success. We have enough breastpumps for every single mum to loan a pump free.” Sally Gibson, NICU Royal Derby

Supporting neonatal units to achieve Baby Friendly accreditation

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Embedding Baby Friendly standards in neonatal care course

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