22/03/16: Charity helps to build accommodation for parents of St Mary's Hospital's youngest patients
Parents of premature and critically-ill babies at St Mary’s Hospital can now stay close to their newborns at all times thanks to a grant from Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
The charity, which raises funds for equipment, training and research at the Trust’s five hospitals, has given a grant of £50,000 to the Winnicott Foundation to help provide six new parent rooms with overnight accommodation in the Winnicott Baby Unit on the third floor of the Clarence Memorial Wing.
The new rooms form part of the new purpose-built neonatal unit extension at St Mary’s, which is in preparation for the transition of maternity and neonatal services from Ealing Hospital.
Sheena Mason, foundation director, (pictured) said: “These parent rooms will have a very positive impact on the parents of babies in the unit. Parents of sick babies will have an opportunity to stay overnight. This cannot be underestimated when your baby is very sick and you have to leave the hospital.
“It’s all about supporting the whole family not just the baby. It’s a very emotional time as they weren’t expecting the baby to arrive yet and their newborn is being cared for in an incubator.”
Before the new rooms were built, many parents had to stay in a nearby hotel which meant they missed out on precious bonding time with their baby.
“The rooms also give parents an opportunity to spend more time with their baby, learning the skills they need to care for their baby upon discharge.
“These rooms facilitate a support structure enabling more involvement and individualised, developmentally-appropriate family centred care, which is evidenced to improve outcomes in babies.”
The neonatal unit extension, which is adjacent to the existing unit, also includes a new Special Care Baby Unit, treatment room and a multi-disciplinary training room.
An official opening for the unit will take place in summer 2016.
15/03/16: Charity funding helps seriously injured patients at St Mary's Hospital
Patients who are recovering from life-threatening injuries are being given a boost thanks to a grant from the charity.
Janet Hopkins, a specialist trauma and intensive care unit dietician, has been giving cake and milkshake to severely injured patients in the trauma ward at St Mary’s Hospital to increase their intake of calories and protein, which will help them to recover.
The charity gave a grant of £90 so Janet could launch the calorie boost project with a six week trial.
“Patients on this ward have had serious traumas with injuries such as broken bones, wounds that need to heal or they may have had extensive surgery. A large proportion of them may have been in the intensive care unit,” she said.
“Their bodies are using more energy than normal because they are unwell – that is the body’s natural response to injury. Many of the young men need more than 3,000 calories a day.
“We rely a lot on nutritional supplements and I thought it would be nice to find a way to boost their energy using something else. The response has been brilliant and people really appreciate it.”
It is hoped the project will continue in future with sponsorship from a local food supplier.