We fundraise every year for Bliss, the premature baby charity, as Harry arrived nearly two months early. He promptly stopped breathing in the delivery room at Warwick and required full ventilation life support. He was a very seriously ill baby and spent 10 days in neonatal intensive care and a further 3 weeks in special care. This was a desperately worrying time for us - and, born 30 years earlier, the grim reality is that Harry would almost certainly not have survived. Neonatal care has improved thanks to medical advances, but the care of our smallest and sickest children is not, unbelievably, an NHS priority!
Bliss campaign for the improvement of every aspect of neonatal care for sick and premature babies and provide wonderful help and support for parents and family.
Among the issues that Bliss campaign to highlight is that the medical staff on neonatal wards are often placed under unacceptable extra pressures because many, many units are woefully understaffed. An adult admitted to intensive care can expect one-to-one nursing, but a baby often cannot, despite having identical care needs. Staffing pressures througout the UK have generally dictated that one nurse is obliged to look after two babies, exacerbating the staff stressload and impinging on patient care. Bliss is campaigning to highlight the inequality and have this protocol overturned. They - and we - are demanding more investment into training and keeping neonatal nurses so that units will not be obliged to close to new admissions because of staffing problems, sending desperately sick babies on long, dangerous journeys to hospitals with space to admit them.
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