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University Hospitals of North Midlands reopens new unit for newborn babies

Maternity care at University Hospitals of North Midlands is being enhanced thanks to the reopening of its transitional care unit which officially reopened on World Prematurity Day.

The transitional care unit at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke is a 10-bedded area located on ward 205 that cares for babies who require additional nursing and monitoring but do not need the level of care required from a neonatal unit.

The unit provides jaundice treatment, nasogastric (tube) feeding, feeding support and IV antibiotic therapy keeping mothers and babies together where usually they would be separated if they needed this support.  

New mum Georgia Hawthorne, from Sneyd Green officially opened the unit on Friday 17 November after giving birth to son Elijah at 35 weeks, weighing 5lb 5oz.

Georgia, 21, said: “It’s been lovely to be the first family on the unit today and I was so pleased to open the unit officially. If it wasn’t for the unit I would have to go home and be separated from him.  Having this available to us means we are kept together which is so important.

“I don’t know what I would do without the midwives and nurses here, they have been fantastic, the care has been amazing but we can’t wait to get home now.”

Katy Edwards, Matron for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen the transitional care unit, especially on World Prematurity Day.  It’s been a long time in the making, with a lot of work going on behind the scenes. It’s all about keeping mothers and babies together and enhancing family experiences.

“Unfortunately, we had to close the unit at the beginning on the year due to staffing pressures but now with a new model in place we have been able to recruit a brand new team which enables us to keep mother and baby together and avoiding any separation.”   

Sarah Roberts, UHNM Neonatal Community Outreach lead, said: “We have worked incredibly hard to get the unit reopened. We have recruited a core group of staff that make transitional care their own sub-speciality of neonates.

“It’s about family centred care, the family are the priority and we have added equipment for siblings so they can come and visit their new family member and we made the unit a bit more homely feel, so everyone can feel more comfortable.

“The quality of care has been enhanced by having the unit now open and it’s fantastic to see.”