Frimley Park

The neonatal unit at Frimley Park Hospital was the third to gain official Bliss Baby Charter accreditation for delivering high quality family-centred care.

By working through the audit process, they were able to put in place policies and procedures which ensure parents are supported to be fully involved in their baby’s care.

For instance, Frimley Park’s parent information booklet provides a helpful overview of neonatal care and the support parents can expect while they are on the unit. It includes information about the neonatal and community teams to help parents get familiarised with the professionals involved in their baby’s care. The booklet highlights how parents can be involved with their baby’s daily cares, provides information on developmental care, including promoting positive touch and skin-to-skin, and signposting to the emotional support which parents can access whilst on the unit.

The unit also created several small information prompt cards for parents as an added reminder of some of the useful resources, facilities and information parents can access.

“We recognise how important developmental and family-centred care is to babies and families, and this was a very useful tool to guide us in what was working well and what could be improved.”

Embedding the principles of family-centred care at the heart of the Bliss Baby Charter has directly impacted the experience of parents who spend time on the unit. For instance, Lauren Hutchings praised the unit’s staff for making her time on the unit with her son Logan, whose arrival at 34 weeks gestation meant she and her husband hadn’t been able buy all the baby products they needed, much easier.

Lauren said: "The staff were amazing. We were given a starter pack with a knitted set of a hat and mittens as well as a few things like nappies. It was one less thing to worry about. We spent about a week on the unit and there were lots of little things in place to make things less stressful for parents. There were packs for parents with towels for taking showers and toothbrushes in case you left yours at home. There was also a room where parents could go and make themselves a hot drink.

"It is incredibly important for a hospital to have facilities like this in place so that parents can spend as much time as possible with their baby and not have to worry about anything else."

"We felt actively involved in our son’s care while at Frimley Park," said Lauren. "I felt like everything about Logan’s care was my decision. My partner did all of Logan’s tube feedings himself and when we switched to breastfeeding the staff were encouraging and supportive."

Frimley Park have also developed policies and guidelines through the Bliss Baby Charter process which aim to support babies’ development. For instance, the unit introduced a developmental care section on their observation charts which focuses on observing a baby's cues, responding appropriately to them and observing the outcome of the care response. They also produced guidelines around the use of noise to help babies’ hearing development and guidelines for the Gustatory and Olfactory environment on the unit to positively stimulate babies’ sense of taste and smell.

“We most definitely recommend other units sign up to the Bliss Baby Charter - it's a great tool to help units make improvements with regards to developmental care and family-centred care.”

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