Hospital charity funds new scheme to help sick babies

August 24 2017

Southmead Hospital Charity has funded new drug boxes to help parents of babies in neo-natal intensive care prepare for their discharge home.

Southmead Hospital Charity has funded new drug boxes to help parents of babies in neo-natal intensive care prepare for their discharge home. 

The pin-controlled secure boxes are wall-mounted next to each baby’s cot, which allows medicines to be safely stored so parents can access the medication to learn how to administer the drugs themselves to their babies. 

Two weeks before discharge parents will be shown how to use the medications that their baby needs and will be expected to prepare and administer them so that they are used to doing this unaided before they go home. 

Until now parents are shown how to use medications on the day they leave hospital, which can add to the anxiety and fear that many parents feel when taking their babies home for the first time after a long spell in NICU - often many months. 

It is hoped that by allowing parents a longer time to get used to drug routines and giving them a sense of ownership it will make the transition from hospital to home a lot easier. 

Southmead Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides intensive care, high dependency care, special care and transitional care for hundreds of babies each year.

Michelle Jackson, NICU Matron, said: “Enabling parents to learn how to draw up medications well in advance of going home will give them the confidence to do it themselves,  by doing this we are working towards a family integrated care approach where parents do as much as possible for their babies in preparation for going home.”

 Lisa Ramsey, NICU lead nurse for developmental care, said: “When we visit parents at home they have told us that they find checking the drugs on those first few days quite stressful because they are on their own for the first time.  We’re pleased we’ve come up with a solution.”

Southmead Hospital Charity provided £1,000 for the drugs boxes and the scheme will start in September.  

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “This is a brilliant example of a team listening to the people they care for and coming up with a solution that makes their journey a little bit easier."

If you’d like to fundraise visit www.southmeadhospitalcharity.org.uk/events