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Our vision for the future

  • High Quality Comforts for Use at the Incubator and Cot-side

    Due to the current lack of space, parents are often required to spend long periods of time in uncomfortable chairs and may not spend as much precious time with their baby or have skin to skin contact with them. Reclining chairs in the new environment will enhance the comfort of parents who spend many hours each day by their baby's side and will promote skin to skin which has been shown to increase baby’s oxygen, maintain their temperature and regulate their heartbeat.

    With the additional space, visitor seating will allow visitors to support their family members and prevent isolation.

    Bedside lockers will provide a focal point for baby’s possessions and reduce infection. It is important to have a personal locker for a baby's clothes and belongings as it may be one of the few things a parent feels they can have control over.

    18 single cots and 4 twin cots will provide a new environment which will promote the highest level of care. Twins are shown to develop better if nursed with their sibling as each helps to regulate the heart and breathing rates of the other.

  • Additional Parents’ Accommodation

    As an acute Neonatal unit, we care for babies from across the Merseyside and North West region and often families do not live close to the hospital. We currently only provide on-site overnight accommodation for up to 5 families meaning that parents are often separated from a critically ill baby in Intensive Care. A baby’s condition can change dramatically at any time meaning that parents may need to travel some distance from home fearing the worst..

    We will provide a further 7 bedrooms for parents and refurbish our two existing spaces so that more families have immediate access to their babies in intensive care at all times. This will allow parents to stay close by, should they be needed urgently, without the additional cost of hotel accommodation over a prolonged period.

  • Parents Sitting Room, Kitchen and Laundry areas

    At the moment, families can spend days, weeks, even months on the unit with only a kettle, microwave and small shared sitting room as their home-comforts. These facilities can be shared with up to 44 other families which can create a cramped, busy and stressful environment.

    Introducing these facilities will enhance the comfort of parents who spend many hours each day by their baby's side, allowing them to have access to hot, nutritious food, comfortable home-like surroundings and basic living facilities, such as a washing machine, meaning families don’t have to leave the unit.

    “AJ was born in late autumn and did not transfer to our local hospital until mid winter.  The unit on the first floor had no external space to be able to step away from the beeping machine”.

     

  • Siblings Play Area

    Siblings can get bored in the hot clinical environment, become upset and frustrated, putting the stressed parents under more pressure.

    We will also provide play facilities for siblings, enabling families to stay together during this very stressful time.

  • Improved Breastfeeding Facilities

    At present the room available for mothers who wish to breastfeed is cramped and the facilities provided are very basic. We will provide a private, comfortable area for mothers to express their breastmilk, which is considered a medicine in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

  • Somewhere to say Goodbye

    Unfortunately, not all families on the unit have a positive outcome where they can take their babies home. In cases where end of life care is given, there is currently a small room for general consultations that is used to both deliver sad news and allow final moments to be spent together as a family.

    We will introduce an end of life suite so that parents will be able to spend time with their baby in a home-like, private setting, deciding when medical interventions and support are withdrawn at the end of life.

    Supportive staff will continue to be on hand to help families make some positive memories in a peaceful environment during what is an extremely traumatic time.

    ​“I still remember the layout of the room we were taken to, to withdraw Lucas' end of life support – the most painful moment of my life. There are things I wish I had done like giving him a bath or read a children's story whilst he lay on my knee before letting him go. That room is remembered. Our families came to hold him and say goodbye before we let him go.”

     

  • Outdoor Sensory Garden

    Currently, families don’t get to experience the things we often take for granted, such as pushing their babies in a pram in the fresh air.  Simple activities like this not only provide a much-needed feeling of normality for parents, but also play a vital role in the development of a babies’ senses.

    An outdoor space will, for the first time ever, enable parents on the Neonatal Unit to take their baby outside to feel the sun and breeze on their face and develop their senses. The sight and scent of flowers and sound of water features in this peaceful space will have great benefits to all.

    This area will also be used for parents who need to take time away from a hospital setting, providing a place of peace and space to reflect, to benefit their own wellbeing. End of life care can also be delivered in this area, providing an element of comfort during very sad circumstances.

    “When she was eventually discharged from our local hospital our daughter had, in total, spent 96 days in hospital before coming home, retrospectively that was by any standard a long time never to have been outside and felt the sun on her skin.”

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