A new family room is now available to use on the neonatal unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Formerly an isolation room, staff have decorated and furnished the room in order for families to use it in many different ways.
Money was raised for the room by a number of former patients’ families via the hospital’s charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund.
Ward manager, Catherine Nash, said: “Some of our babies can stay on the unit for many weeks and parents often spend hours next to the cot side.
“We now have a lovely, bright room with a relaxing environment so parents and siblings can spend time together with the older babies in preparation for discharge home.”
The room is also used for conversations between families and medical staff, proving support to mums who are trying to establish feeding, on special occasions, such as a blessing, and as a private area following a bereavement.
It has cushioned flooring to keep little players safe and also has facilities where mums can play music and read books to the babies in a more stimulating environment.
Clinical educator Julie Kearney, who had the idea to covert the room, said: “We are delighted to have this room and are extremely grateful to the families who donated and enabled this project to be completed.
“We are hoping to start delivering parent craft sessions shortly and the installation of a projector screen will assist when teaching nursing and medical teams as part of the regular simulation training delivered on the unit.
“This project has provided the opportunity to transform a previously under- utilised room into a multi-purpose area that will benefit many families at an often difficult and stressful time.
“It’s a restful and playful space and we can’t imagine what we’d do without it now it is here.”
And one mum agrees.
Charlotte Hudson, whose son Samuel Francis was born on January 9 at slightly more than 34 weeks said: “It’s nice to have a non-clinical room to use to get away from the business of the unit to spend quiet time with your baby.”
Interim Head of Fundraising, Ann Hedley, said: “This is such an asset to the unit. We are always grateful for every donation that we receive and helping families through the happy and the sad times is something that the staff do so well.
“Having a revitalised facility can support them in their work and create great memories for the families with whom they engage. We can’t thank our donors enough for providing this fantastic resource.”