COVID-19: our response so far

Posted on March 25, 2020

Bliss is rapidly adapting what we do for babies born premature or sick in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All over the world people’s lives are being affected by COVID-19, including those with vulnerable babies in neonatal care.

Adapting our services

We are doing all we can to help parents protect their babies and access the support they need. Parents are particularly anxious about the health of their baby, especially those babies with medical conditions who may be at a higher risk of COVID-19.

We produced new information based on the latest guidance which you can read here, and which is being regularly updated as soon as new information is available.

We have temporarily stopped all volunteers visiting neonatal units and we have cancelled all upcoming training days and conferences for healthcare professionals in line with government advice. Our London Office is also closed and our whole staff team are now delivering all our work and services remotely.

We are keen to ensure parents get the support they need at this crucial time and we are working hard to understand how we can change and adapt our services to this new situation as quickly as possible. In the meantime our email support line remains open and we’ve seen an increase in the number of people accessing this vital support.

In the last few days Bliss has supported a new, rapid surveillance research project which will collect information about what happens to mothers and babies infected with COVID-19. We are campaigning for the government to introduce a version of neonatal leave and pay sooner than planned as it’s now even harder for parents to be with their baby and to be involved in their care. We’re also pushing for extra financial support for families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, similar to the fund already available in Scotland, to help them through the crisis.

Emergency fundraising

300 babies continue to be born needing neonatal care each day and we’re doing all we can to make sure they still receive the best care possible now and in the coming months. But we’re facing an enormous fundraising challenge.

60 % of our income comes from people who take part in fundraising events – many of which have been cancelled or postponed due to lockdown restrictions - and companies who are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

At this time of year our fantastic supporters would usually be baking, running and cycling for us and companies would be hosting events in their workplace. Instead, understandably, people are having to cancel their plans.

Bliss is not a big charity and we are particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in our income. To help us through this time we’ve launched an emergency fundraising appeal and we hope our dedicated supporters and partners will donate to help keep our services running now and in the future. If you can, please donate towards our services.