Blackpool Neonatal Unit launch new care model for families

From left; Liz Morrison, Stacey Richardson, Sue Dupree, Sarah Heydon, Amanda Alonso and Rosie Milbourn on the Neonatal Unit

The neonatal team at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has launched a new caring method to support babies and their family while they are being cared for in hospital.

The new care pathway, launched by neonatal sister Sarah Heydon, is called Family Integrated Care, which allows staff to become partners in care and for parents to be at the heart of care giving.

Sarah explained: “We are one of the first hospitals in Lancashire to launch this new care pathway and all the staff are very positive about taking on new ways to support our babies and families on the unit.

“We are encouraging families to build their confidence in learning how to recognise feeding and development cues, supporting them with naso gastric feeds if needed, being present and involved in ward rounds with the staff and to promote parent-infant interaction.”

Neonatal Ward Manager, Rosie Milbourn, added: “Our ultimate aim is for parents to be more involved in the care and decisions made about their baby.

Rosie Milbourn and Sarah Heydon with the new care poster

“We are encouraging teams such as physiotherapists and mental health practitioners to come to the unit to support new mums and this will really benefit families.

“Studies show that through this new model of care, babies can gain weight quicker, breast feed more successfully and be discharged home sooner from hospital.

“Parents are fully supported when learning new skills and a folder is available with all the information they need. They are given a neonatal passport for their baby showing the skills and care learnt which is also helpful if their baby’s condition warrants transfer to another hospital or unit.

“This new model of care should help to provide consistency in the help and support given to parents which in turn avoids any chance of confusion.

“We work very well as a team here and we are really positive and excited about striving to enhance the care for our babies and parents, becoming the family they dream to be with hopefully less bumps along the neonatal roller coaster journey.”

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