Bliss responds to new UK wide COVID restrictions

Posted on September 23, 2020

Yesterday evening (22nd September) Governments across the UK announced a new range of restrictions to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Bliss supports national efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, however these must not stop parents being with their premature or sick baby in their first days and weeks of life in neonatal care. Parents are not, and should never be considered to be, visitors to their baby. We know parental involvement in their baby’s neonatal care is fundamental for supporting development and bonding, and is integral to the short- and long-term well-being of the baby and the whole family. We firmly believe maintaining parental access and involvement for both parents or primary care givers in line with our recommendations, and those of professional bodies, should remain a priority even in light of these recent announcements.

Since March, Bliss has been working hard to make sure neonatal units continue to give both parents and primary caregivers as much access to their baby as possible. Our Position Statement has been included in national guidance and, while policies remain extremely varied across the UK, more units have been able to ease restrictions in recent months, and some have returned to full unrestricted access.

We are continuing to work with neonatal units directly to support them with making the case locally to return to a policy of unrestricted access for parents, with appropriate additional safeguards in place as needed, as well as working with regional and national bodies and the Government to ensure the unique role of parents and caregivers in neonatal care is reflected in national policy.

We know these latest announcements may be especially worrying if your baby or babies are still receiving neonatal care. If you are worried about parental access restrictions, or you’re transferring to a unit and you’re not sure on their policy, or if you just want to talk – we are here. Reach out to us at hello@bliss.org.uk for information and support.

We also want to hear your views and experiences during COVID-19 to help us shape our ongoing policy work and service development.