Designs for a new state-of-the-art surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Alder Hey have been revealed today.
The new Unit will be the first of its kind in the country to provide Fi Care (Family Integrated Care) and will provide a safer service for babies.
Under the Liverpool Neonatal Partnership, specialist neonatal staff from both Alder Hey and the Liverpool Women’s are working together to change and improve how neonatal services are delivered to families across the North West and provide the highest level of care for the most vulnerable babies in the region. This includes reducing the number of transfers of neonates between hospitals by 50%.
Jen Deeney, Head of Nursing for the Liverpool Neonatal Partnership said:
“Keeping babies and their families together is so important for the early stages of a child’s development. Creating a specialist NICU on the Alder Hey site with family integrated care will ensure that new babies needing surgery can remain in one place with their parent or family members. The new Unit will also mean that our most vulnerable babies aren’t coming back and forth between hospitals for treatment.
“We were really keen to design a Unit that would have parents/caregivers right at the heart of their new baby’s care; allowing them to work alongside our teams and continue to look after their baby while also giving new parents confidence to be independent care givers. This will be the first time in the UK Fi Care has been integrated into the design of a Neonatal Unit and our team are very excited.”
One family who would have benefited from the new Unit are Baby Lincoln’s from Wrexham. Lincoln was born at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and had to be transferred to Alder Hey at just 13 days old for life-saving open heart surgery. Despite a successful operation, Lincoln contracted Sepsis and had to stay at Alder Hey for a further seven weeks.
Mum Georgia said:
“A new NICU Unit would have made a big difference to us as we wouldn’t have had to be apart from Lincoln as much. It is important to have all care in one place as being separated from him in the first few days was very hard. Having parent rooms would make a huge difference as you would be able to be close to your baby at all times which is comforting and reassuring.”
Alongside 22 specialist neonatal cots and 18 integrated family rooms, the exciting new NICU will feature the latest technology, including Telehealth Medicine Robots enabling clinicians to monitor babies remotely. Together Alder Hey and Liverpool Women’s are developing innovative technologies to enhance the care and experience of babies and families on the Unit. This includes a neonatal tracking system; a wearable device worn around a parent’s wrist which sends out a signal allowing staff to know where the parent is in case of an emergency.
Last year Alder Hey Children’s Charity launched a fundraising Appeal to raise £3m for ‘over and above’ enhancements to the new Unit. More information about the Appeal and to donate can be found at www.alderheycharity.org/surgical-neonatal-appeal/