Donation recognises Harlow hospital baby unit’s dedicated care

Health / Sat 30th Mar 2019 at 11:01am

Donation recognises Harlow hospital baby unit’s dedicated care

THE wonderful work of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow has been widely recognised with donations from many grateful families, as well as local businesses who support the unit’s marvellous work.

One of these donors was Land Sheriffs, based in Harlow. Their fantastically generous support has allowed all 45 of the unit’s nurses to attend training with leading baby care charity BLISS – a first such achievement nationwide.

The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit cares for ill or premature newborn infants. On average about 30 babies are cared for on the unit in a month. These babies need personalised, specialist care which benefits from special training. The unit manager, Janelle Gardner, was keen for staff to acquire this training. She said: “The BLISS Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education (FINE) course comes highly recommended for all neonatal units as part of improving staff knowledge and skills around developmental care delivered to babies and their families to improve long term neurological and developmental outcomes.”

The programme themes include newborn neurodevelopment; parent/infant relationships and the parental journey; observing and understanding infant behaviour; managing stress and pain; sensorimotor experience in the neonatal unit; baby-led feeding; and kangaroo care promoting skin to skin contact.

The donation from Land Sheriffs came as a huge benefit. Janelle said: “The training has to be self-funded so not all trusts are able to access it for all their staff – typically it will only be a part of the team. It was a dream come true to be able to offer it to all our NICU nurses. BLISS has developed training methods over years of work around the globe, and is acknowledged as a leading charity for care of premature and vulnerable babies.”

Janelle was overwhelmed by the generous gift. Tyler LeMay , managing director of Land Sheriffs has been a supporter of PAHT’s maternity department, as his three children were born at the hospital. He said: I wanted to give something back to the hospital for the wonderful care they provide for these vulnerable newborns.

Janelle explained that the training provides insights into interventions as well as guidance for parents that results in better long-term outcomes for babies. She added: “I found it particularly powerful that the evidence-based training shows that the interaction we have has such a positive impact on the development of the new-born brain. As the whole unit received the training, this will reinforce the knowledge and skills base within the team, so this learning will be valuable both for us and the parents.”

Following the two-day training programme last week, Husnara Begum, senior sister in the nenonatal intensive care unit, said: “The course was so well structured, and we all took something from it, enabling us to offer even better patient care. The extra insights into early baby care were fascinating, for instance wrapping preterm babies in muslin when taking them out for kangaroo care seemed to be less stressful for them, and this was demonstrated very well and something I will be implementing on the unit.”

Janelle underlined the help Land Sherriffs has given the unit. “The initiative started when members of Land Sheriffs did a mountain climb in 2017 to raise money for staff to attend training. The company went on to donate a top-up which resulted in this fantastic opportunity for our staff and a great benefit for future babies born at PAHT.

Tyler LeMay said he was proud to support this important training. He added “Working with the NICU has been a truly rewarding partnership and one we are very proud of. Leaving a long term legacy of neonatal care was a significant reason we set our sights on securing the training for all the staff.
However our support is eclipsed by the hard work and dedication of the NICU staff at Harlow who truly inspired me and my business.”

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