Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight have responded to the 2010 Bliss Report, ‘The Chance of a Lifetime’, on the state of Neonatal Intensive Care across England.
Annie Hunter, Head of Midwifery at NHS Isle of Wight says: “Since relocating to our new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we have been working towards meeting a lot of the key findings in the Bliss Baby Report. Islanders can be reassured that barely born babies receive excellent care on the Island. The funds the NHS has invested and the additional extras Islanders have raised funds towards really have made a difference to the service we can provide and the working environment for staff.”
Key issues raised in the 2010 Bliss Report and the current position at St. Mary’s Hospital are set out in the chart attached. On the key issues NHS Isle of Wight has:
- Increased staffing levels so that the correct nurse and doctor to baby ratios are followed and avoided the need for closures due to staffing problems.
- Developed in-house training and worked with the network of neonatal services to provide more advanced training.
- Worked with the Island’s paediatric community nursing team to ensure that support and oxygen therapy for premature and sick babies is available after discharge.
- Recruited and trained doctors and Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs) so that there are no medical vacancies.
- Established a support group for parents and provide bereavement counselling.
- Worked closely with dieticians and speech and language therapists to provide support to staff, babies and parents.
- Increased capacity from 9 to 11 cots which has given more overall capacity, and provided transitional care to babies in the maternity unit avoiding the need for a transfer to the NICU this has enabled the NICU to remain within the recommended 80% occupancy most of the time.
- Not had to transfer any baby outside the neonatal network.
Pamela George, Senior Nurse on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit says: “We’re very proud of everything that has been achieved in the redevelopment of the Unit over the last 18 months. Islanders can be proud of the care provided to premature and sick babies on the Island. We could not have achieved this without the generous support of Islanders for the Barely Born Appeal and were looking forward to the formal opening of the Unit on 2nd December 2010.”