The Bliss Scotland team took to Holyrood on Tuesday 24 January to launch the Bliss Scotland baby report 2017. The event was hosted by Jeremy Balfour, MSP for Lothian, who introduced the event by talking about the impact on him and his family of having had a baby daughter who was sadly stillborn. He also talked about the later experience of having twins born prematurely at 34 weeks.
Bliss Scotland volunteer and parent Coady Dorman spoke about her experience on a neonatal unit with her son Matthew who was born at 29 weeks. She talked about some of the difficulties that new parents face in travelling long distances to be with their premature baby.
Cabinet Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP addressed the room, outlining the Scottish Government’s ‘Five-Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care in Scotland’ which was released just days before on Friday 20 January and welcoming Bliss Scotland’s role in challenging Government to do more for babies born premature or sick.
Last but by no means least our own Chief Executive, Caroline Lee-Davey, introduced the Bliss Scotland baby report 2017 outlining challenges facing neonatal services in Scotland around staffing and some of the practical barriers facing parents, putting forward our recommendations to address this.
The event was very well attended by MSPs, parents, Bliss volunteers, healthcare professionals, and charity representatives, who listened to our findings and heard our call for action. There was even a surprise contribution from two year old Matthew Dorman who joined his Mum Coady on the podium to assist her with her speech! A photo album from the event is available to view here.
Whilst the Scottish Government’s Five Year Plan acknowledges that there will be costs associated with implementing its recommendations in the future, it falls short of saying that additional investment is needed to grow the current workforce. Please help us to keep the pressure on Scottish Government by getting in touch with your MSP and asking them to write to Cabinet Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP to urge her to take immediate action.