Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital neonatal unit receives Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation

Posted on January 15, 2019

Exeter Award

On 15 January, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital became the first hospital in South West England to receive a prestigious award for their neonatal unit from the UK’s leading premature and sick baby charity Bliss.

The Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation awards neonatal units that deliver high quality care to babies and support for their families. The Bliss Baby Charter was developed by Bliss to help hospitals caring for premature and sick babies to assess the care they provide and identify areas for improvement. Throughout the accreditation process, Bliss recognises and rewards excellence in the care delivered by neonatal units all the while supporting units to improve their practice.

At a ceremony held on the unit, Bliss Baby Charter Project Lead Chelsie Letts presented staff with a plaque and certificate marking their achievement.

Joanna Pulford, a mother who spent time with her baby on the neonatal unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, said that staff helped make the experience of having a baby in special care much easier.

Joanna’s son Henry, born at full-term, was transferred to the hospital in September 2015 after he had difficulty breathing because of a collapsed lung. He spent eight days in neonatal care.

Joanna said: “The staff were amazing. They went above and beyond the call of duty to take care of Henry and to support our whole family after we were transferred there. We knew Henry was in the best possible hands.

“Henry is now three-years-old and we are still so incredibly grateful for everything the neonatal staff did for him. The whole team really deserve this award from Bliss.”

Louise Rattenbury, Matron on the neonatal unit said: “The Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation Scheme has supported the neonatal team to focus on what really matters to families. This has made a vital difference every day to all the babies we care for, as well as to parents and families. I am so proud of the Exeter neonatal team and their dedication to putting babies and their families at the heart of everything they do.”

Chelsie Letts, Bliss Baby Charter Project Lead, said: “The neonatal unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital is a unit that truly puts babies and their families at the heart of their care. There are plenty of places for parents to stay on-site, an area for siblings to play and a calm, quiet atmosphere to aid a baby’s development.”

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive at Bliss, said: "I am delighted that the Royal Devon and Exeter’s family-centred approach to the care of vulnerable babies has earned them a Bliss Baby Charter accreditation - making them one of only four units in the whole country to receive this prestigious award and the first in the South West.

"The work of staff here is making a vital difference to the lives of the babies they care for every single day. I hope that other neonatal units around the country will be able to look to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as an example of excellence."