West Suffolk Hospital awarded Gold Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation

Posted on September 28, 2022

Some of the unit staff and a parent with her baby

We are delighted to announce that West Suffolk Hospital neonatal unit has successfully completed its accreditation and has demonstrated that they have sufficient processes and facilities in place to deliver high-quality family-centred care.

The culture of the West Suffolk Hospital neonatal unit is clearly family-centred, with a team culture that enforces mutual trust and respect between staff and families. A dedicated community team offer individualised care and support for families and ensure a smooth transition from the unit to home.

Information from staff is shared consistently with families, and explanations of procedures and cares are delivered clearly and in a timely manner.

The addition of a unit psychologist offers support to families and to staff, whilst staff work hard to promote parent and family wellbeing. Free parking, access to sensory toys and the availability of an extensive amount of clothing and blankets were all mentioned as specific things that parents really valued.

Laura, who gave birth to her son prematurely and spent time on West Suffolk’s neonatal unit, reflected on her experience at West Suffolk, “Theo Hopper was born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb 13oz in March 2022. He spent 97 days in hospital which was the most challenging time of our lives. We would like to thank all the staff at the Neonatal Unit at West Suffolk Hospital for their remarkable nurturing support.

"The incredible team were outstanding when Theo has medical issues, but also during the long periods of waiting where they supported us to care for him. There is a family-like feel on the unit which helped us get through the long days.

“We were nervous bringing little Theo home due to his breathing, but the Community Team gave us the confidence through the transition and Theo is now thriving as a happy 6-month-old."

Some of the unit staff and our Bliss Baby Charter Programme Lead

The assessment was carried out by Bliss Baby Charter Programme Lead Holly Sullivan, and Volunteer Assessors Lynne Wainwright and Jonny Pearson. The Baby Charter lead for the unit was Frances Frost.

Frances said, “Achieving the Gold Award accreditation for the Bliss baby charter is testament to the total care and hard work ethics of our Neonatal Unit. The commitment of the staff whilst being appraised through our journey from Bronze, Silver and finally the Gold has been very supportive. I feel privileged that I have been so involved in the instigation and subsequent acknowledgement of the outstanding integrated family care provided by our unit.”

Karen Ranson, Ward Manager for the unit, exclaimed, “We are committed to each family and their babies through holistic family centred care. Our sole aim is to deliver the best quality care from dedicated trained staff, to achieve the highest quality outcomes for sick & premature babies and their families.

“We recognise the need for parents and staff to be partners in care. We believe this can be achieved through mutual trust, respect, and effective communication, to develop the parenting role by providing information, support and guidance tailored to the individual family needs.

"This accreditation proves our commitment to family integrated care and demonstrates how our team strives to work closely together with our families to embed the high standard of care set out in the Bliss Baby Charter principles.

“We are delighted that Bliss formally recognise our teams’ ongoing commitment to put our babies and their families at the centre of everything we do, and we pledge as a team to continue to do so.”

Some of the unit staff and a parent with her baby