Bliss and Nutricia ELN funding decision

Posted on February 28, 2018

We have decided not to accept an offer of funding for training from Nutricia ELN.

Bliss would like to thank everyone who has sent in their feedback, your insights and messages of support are invaluable to us. We are incredibly proud of the work we do to support babies born premature or sick, which we are able to deliver only with the continued support of the thousands of parents and health professionals who share our aims.

We take the reputation and integrity of our information and our services very seriously, and this is always paramount for us when reviewing funding opportunities. In this case, our initial assessment, based on engagement with parents and healthcare professionals, concluded that our ability to support premature or sick babies would not be put in jeopardy by accepting this sponsorship. However, following early feedback from frontline health professionals we conducted a more extensive listening exercise with neonatal stakeholders. We now understand that this sponsorship could lead to a detrimental effect on our ability to carry out our work and therefore the charity and its Board of Trustees have decided not to accept this offer. No money has yet been received from Nutricia ELN, and no preparation for the subsequent training courses has taken place.

We have been incredibly heartened by the feedback we have received from those who continue to trust our integrity and decision making process. But we have also heard from those who would not be comfortable with Bliss having any involvement with formula manufacturers. We are so committed to our work improving outcomes for babies born premature or sick that we cannot put that work at risk.

We would also like to assure the parents and health professionals who have told us that their voices are not being heard in this debate that we are listening and we are here for you. Bliss remains committed to ensuring that adequate feeding support is available to parents on neonatal units, and we intend to use the feedback we have received to continue that work free from perceived conflicts of interest.

Finally, we would like to assure health professionals that we remain committed to supporting mothers to breastfeed, and that our Baby Charter will continue to strive towards holistic improvements in family-centred neonatal care alongside the aims of the Baby Friendly Initiative. We have extensive processes in place to ensure the impartiality of our information and the rigour of our programmes. If you ever have any questions about any of our work, we invite you to ask us directly so that we may continue to improve our services with your most valued collaboration.

Please feel free to contact us with any further questions at davidb@bliss.org.uk.