Why we need a new Special Care Baby Unit
Very premature babies and babies born with serious health problems need immediate support. Our Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) in Yeovil Women’s Hospital provides this immediate support, but it is not big enough and does not give families the privacy and dignity that they deserve at this most challenging of times.
Around 200 babies every year are placed in the unit and many will stay for several weeks. It can be babies who are premature, babies who are not well and also babies who are born with a dependency caused by their mother using addictive drugs during pregnancy.
Babies who are dependent on a substance are usually distressed and cry for long periods of time. This can cause great distress to their families and other families using the facilities. For those people whose babies have been born early and have had difficulty breathing without assistance, it is important to have some privacy to deal with the situation and this is difficult when they are sitting right next to another family. The amount of specialist equipment needed in the unit is enormous and when a baby does become suddenly ill and equipment is needed, it fills all of the existing space, which again can cause distress and certainly reduces patient privacy and dignity.
We want to build a new Special Care Baby Unit on an existing flat roof of the Women’s Hospital. The new unit will have lots of space between cots, more space for critical equipment, better security, more space for visitors and a small room for families to spend time while they are visiting. One of the worst things about having a baby in Special Care is that mother and baby are not able to stay together so having some comfortable space for families while they are visiting is absolutely essential.