The Bliss Christmas appeal
Nobody should be alone this Christmas. Especially a vulnerable baby who needs their mum or dad close by. For babies in hospital, the reality is they probably won’t be with their parents as much as they need to, due to the lack of facilities and the high costs to families of supporting a baby in hospital.
The evidence shows that enabling parents to look after their baby in the early days and weeks of life leads to shorter stays in hospital and better long-term health outcomes for the baby.
The lack of family facilities and the high costs of supporting a baby in hospital are keeping families apart.
The average UK family will spend £796* on Christmas. By comparison, our research shows families spend an average of £2,252 while their poorly baby is in hospital. The costs are a huge burden for parents at an extremely worrying time.
Bliss has found that only five out of 29 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) – those caring for the smallest and sickest babies - have enough rooms for parents of critically ill babies. A mother of a baby born at 27 weeks told us:
“We could only visit our baby two days a week when she was being cared for in the NICU. This carried on for six weeks. We were simply unable to afford to travel there every day.”
Some babies will not see their parents today at all because there is nowhere for them to stay and they cannot afford to be by their side. For a family with a baby in hospital, the best gift for them is being with their baby.
- We work directly with neonatal units, through our Baby Charter, to ensure facilities are provided to enable families to stay close to their babies
- We train doctors and nurses to deliver family-centred care, so that babies in neonatal care are looked after by their parents from as early in their lives as possible
- We provide accredited information and support to families at what can be a bewildering and devastating time. This builds parent’s confidence and leads to shorter hospital stays and fewer re-admissions for the baby
- We fund ground-breaking neonatal research, improving health outcomes for future babies born premature or sick.
Whatever you can give, your support will bring hope to families with babies in hospital this Christmas.
[If you would prefer to donate over the phone call 020 7378 5740]
*YouGov poll, Christmas spending plans, November 2015