The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital today (Tuesday 15 November) became only the second unit in the UK to gain accreditation for its family-centred care under the Bliss Baby Charter.
In a ceremony held today on the unit, Caroline Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, the charity for premature and sick babies, presented staff with a plaque and certificate marking their achievement.
She said, "I am delighted to recognise the ongoing dedication of staff on this neonatal unit to putting babies and their families at the heart of everything they do. Their family-friendly approach makes a vital difference every day to all the babies they care for, as well as to parents and families."
Experts are clear that early, hands-on parental involvement in babies’ care improves bonding and long-term outcomes for both babies and families, and reduces the length of the baby’s stay in hospital. It also frees up nursing time, increasing productivity and boosting staff morale.
Bliss developed the Baby Charter to help neonatal units to assess and improve the quality of care they provide. Through accreditation, Bliss recognises and rewards care excellence, with a specific focus on the delivery of consistent, high quality, family-centred care.
Portsmouth’s award follows a two-year process of audit, action and evaluation involving health professionals and parents.
The neonatal unit has also been awarded a Gold Star Ward Accreditation for Leadership by its parent Trust, and is working towards UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation.
This World Prematurity Day, Bliss is focusing on the need for high quality, family-centred care for all premature babies. Find out more and see how you can get involved.