Conquest Hospital achieves Bliss Baby Charter Gold Accreditation

Posted on July 12, 2022


Bliss are delighted to announce that Conquest Hospital special care baby unit (SCBU) has successfully completed its Gold accreditation and has demonstrated that they have sufficient processes and facilities in place to deliver high-quality family-centred care.

The Bliss Baby Charter accreditation assessment was carried out virtually with the Conquest Hospital special care baby unit on 1 March 2022, by Bliss Baby Charter Programme Lead Holly Sullivan, and Volunteer Assessors Lynne Wainwright and Coady Dorman. The Baby Charter lead for the unit was Wendy Thompsett.

It was clear throughout the assessment that the team at Conquest Hospital make the most of the limited space they have and are always looking for ways they can make the space and facilities more suited to families.

Wendy Thompsett, Joint Ward Matron at Conquest Hospital, said, “I would like to say that this is a huge boost for us, especially after the difficulties of the last two years. We have always believed in the principle of being family friendly and it is great that this has been recognised formally. We have worked really hard over many years to gain this award. It will give us added impetus as we work with the Network to extend even further towards Family Integrated Care.”

Parents spoke of a real promotion and support of skin to skin at all stages of their journey, and we were impressed by lots of informative and useful resources that were available to families.

It is also clear that Conquest have a strong vision for how to continually improve and develop, and we look forward to seeing the reintroduction of various support services that have had to pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that we know both parents and staff value so highly.


Sam, a parent who’s twins received care at Conquest, said, “Our twins were born at 31 weeks in January 2022 and spent 28 days in the SCBU at Conquest Hospital. I was extremely fortunate to be able to stay for the length of twins’ care in one of the dedicated Parent Rooms, which allowed me to be with my sons for the duration of their stay.

“It can be extremely isolating and daunting for a parent but the staff absorbed me into their world and made me feel like one of the family. I wanted to take as much responsibility as I could for my twins and the nurses allowed and taught me how to carry out small tasks such as taking their temperatures and changing their monitors.

“The nurse's understanding of how important it is for a parent to be able to take responsibility for their baby, even in a small way when much of their care is out of a parent's hands, shows how relatable and family-focused the team are. I am sure there were times when my help was more of a hindrance to their work but they never showed it!

“The care I was shown by all the staff was beyond expectation, not only the nurses but housekeeping who made sure I had meals each day and that my room was cleaned, Paediatricians who took the time to sit and explain my twin's development and targets with me on a regular basis, the Health Care Assistants who would chat to me as they carried out their daily ritual of making sure the ward was kept to the highest standards and the student nurses who gave me a cuddle when I needed one.

“My partner and other children were at home and had COVID for some of the time our twins were on SCBU. The nurses understood and sympathized with my partner who was unable to see his sons for the first 16 days of their lives. I was allowed to make video calls from the ward to my partner and to include him when Paediatricians discussed the twins' ongoing care. This innovative solution allowed him to feel part of his son's stay in this unusual situation.

“I suffer with mental health difficulties and the staff were aware of this. They showed expert knowledge of my needs and knew where to signpost me to when times became difficult. The nurses' role fundamentally is to care for the babies but they are also well equipped to support parents in a huge and varied number of ways. My personal experience was limited to my needs but I observed the nurses' care of other parents in many ways.

“Spending a prolonged time on SCBU afforded me the opportunity to observe the day-to-day operations of the ward and how the staff interacted with the parents. The respect, at times patience and diplomacy, and ability of the staff to meet parents' needs and expectations whilst ensuring the highest quality of care is given to the babies in their charge and understanding is outstanding in what must be a very intense and emotional environment to work in.

“Personally I could not hold any of the team in a higher regard, appreciation or with greater respect because they truly are all wonderful. I like to call them the Mary Poppins of The Conquest!”