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New support network launched by neonatal nurses in Wales

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A new support network to help families of children on neonatal units in North Wales has been launched by neonatal nurses.

The support network was set up by the North Wales Neonatal Nurses group to mark World Prematurity Day on 17 November.

“We know it can be a really worrying time for the families”

Julia Davies

The international day, supported by sick and premature baby charity Bliss, is to raise awareness of premature birth and the devastating impact it can have on families across the world.

Bliss estimates that 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year, approximately one in every 13 born before 37 weeks gestation.

Neomates North Wales is a new group for parents of babies receiving care in one of the region’s three neonatal units.

The support network, which is open to all parents of children currently receiving care or who have previously had care on a unit, will initially launch as a Facebook group.

Group meetings will follow in the new year once a new sub regional neonatal intensive care centre (SuRNICC) unit opens at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan.

“This new group will give an extra way for them to reach out and speak to others”

Mandy Cooke

The group will be administered by neonatal staff from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s three main sitesWrexham Maelor, Ysbyty Gwynedd and Glan Clwyd Hospital.

It will offer a private space for parents and families to share their experiences of a child receiving care on a neonatal unit and will also contain information on how to seek clinical care if needed, said the board in a statement announcing the new initiative.

The board noted that the group had been inspired by the work of neonatal unit staff at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, which set up the original Neomates group in 2013.

Julia Davies, healthcare support worker at Glan Clwyd special care baby unit, said: “We were looking for ways in which we can increase the support we offer to the parents and families of the babies under our care, and were inspired by the work of the team at Arrowe Park.

“We spoke to them as part of our preparations for the SuRNICC opening, and loved the idea behind their Neomates group,” she said. “They’ve helped us to set up our own branch, giving us ideas and information on how we can take this forward.

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Glan Clwyd Hospital

“We know it can be a really worrying time for the families, and we do all we can to provide as much support as possible,” said Ms Davies.

“But we know that a safe, private space for them to share their experiences with other families provides another great opportunity to speak with other people who have gone through a similar experience of having their much loved baby under our care,” she added.

Neonatal services manager Mandy Cooke said: “Our staff work extremely hard to provide as much support for our families as possible, and this new group will give an extra way for them to reach out and speak to others who have had a similar experience.

“We’re now looking forward to moving to our new unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital, where in the new year we plan to begin holding coffee mornings and events for members of the group, to again provide a little bit of extra care and support,” she said.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

New support network launched by neonatal nurses in Wales

Neomates at Ysbyty Gwynedd

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

New support network launched by neonatal nurses in Wales

Neomates at Wrexham Maelor

 

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