MP for Croydon North Steve Reed paid a visit to the special care baby unit at Croydon University Hospital on Tuesday 15 September, to speak with families of premature and sick babies and the staff that care for them.
The visit was organised by Croydon resident Catriona Ogilvy. Catriona is a campaigner for Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity, and runs her own blog – The Smallest Things. She gave birth to two premature sons who were cared for at the hospital, and is acutely aware of the problems poorly babies can face. She was keen for Mr Reed MP to speak to families on the unit to learn more about their experiences.
Mr Reed MP was accompanied around the unit by Bliss Campaigns and Policy Officer Josie Anderson, Consultant Neonatologist John Chang, Director of Midwifery Ann Morling and Practice Development Sister Vivienne Collins. He also got the chance to talk to the Chief Executive of the Trust, John Goulston, to hear about the challenges the unit faces, and the recent research projects which they have been involved in.
He was shown around the parent facilities before being taken to the unit itself, which has the capacity to care for 27 babies from the local area. Mr Reed MP spoke to two mums on the unit, one of a baby born at 25 weeks gestation who has been in hospital for six months, and one of a mum whose baby was born at 33 weeks.
Mr Reed MP said: “It’s hard to imagine anything more worthwhile than looking after babies born too soon to survive without the specialised care and love they receive from the incredible staff at the unit. The parents I spoke to were so grateful for the quality of support that’s available, and the dedication and professionalism of the staff shone out of everything they did. I can’t praise this incredible service highly enough.”
Bliss is the charity dedicated to ensuring premature and sick babies have the best possible chance of survival and of reaching their full potential. They do this by providing practical and emotional support for families, working with health professionals, and raising awareness of the issues affecting special care babies.
To find out more about the work that Bliss do, visit their website, bliss.org.uk, or find out more about The Smallest Things by visiting thesmallestthings.org.