In 2016 we raised a fantastic £250,000 to provide equipment for our neonatal unit, which saves the lives of newborn babies that are born prematurely and/or with difficulties.
Over 1,600 babies each year are cared for by staff at North Devon District Hospital and by midwives working in the community. The Special Care Baby Unit currently treats approximately 250 babies a year (approximately 1 in 6 babies born at North Devon District Hospital). Because North Devon is geographically isolated, it is vital for the survival of our sickest babies that our Special Care Baby Unit offers the very best care that we can.
“Everything was always thoroughly explained to us and the nurses were always reassuring. They constantly praised us and told us we were doing brilliantly which was exactly what we needed to hear. Scarlet was in a hot cot which meant we were able to see her and touch her safely. The staff work extremely hard to ensure the unit runs smoothly and that the parents and babies are looked after. We can never praise them enough for all that they have done for us with both of our girls.” Sherri Babb
Thanks to your support, we can provide the best level of care and treatment for premature babies born in North Devon every year. As part of the appeal, we have funded:
x2 neonatal ventilators at £28,250 each: These help a baby breathe by blowing oxygen-enriched air gently into the baby’s lungs. These ventilators are with touch screen and replaced three pieces of equipment into one machine, thereby reducing the visual impact of many wires around the incubator, in turn causing less stress for the parent. In addition, this up-to-date ventilator is connected wirelessly to the Trust’s Health Patient Records which means minimising administration time for our nurses, enabling them to spend more time caring for the babies on the unit.
x1 Neonatal incubators @ £35,042 each: The incubator carries out a range of functions including being able to resuscitate, transport safely, weigh, deliver oxygen and humidity, and keep babies warm. With these multiple functions they also reduce the need to transfer the babies between different pieces of equipment – this helps decrease stress to the baby.
x3 Phototherapy devices @ £2,760 each: This device is used to treat babies with Jaundice. It is comfortable for babies to lie on and enables parents to have skin to skin with their baby without interrupting the treatment, encouraging infant-parent bonding.
x5 Breast pumps on stands @ £2,064 each: By expressing milk the babies are given the healthiest start which is extremely important when they are born prematurely. This helps them to bond and prepares them for discharge when they take their baby home.
x5 Breast pumps for portable use with cases @ £1,944 each: These breast pumps are available on the Unit and for loan to mums to take away with them for home expression until their baby has been discharged.
x2 Neonatal hot cots and control units @ £3,500 each: These hot cots keep babies who have been born prematurely or with a low birth rate at the correct temperature so that they do not become cold quickly. The ‘hot cot’ has a special mattress that can be warmed or cooled according to a baby’s needs.
i-pads @ £579: The i-pads enables mothers to observe their baby from their hospital bed or from home, giving reassurance when they are unable to visit.
A selection of toys for siblings @£500: A selection of toys to keep siblings entertained while their parents are caring for their new baby has helped to create a more relaxed atmosphere for the family at a potentially stressful time.
The end of the appeal does not mean our work stops. There are many ways you can continue to support the Special Baby Unit:
There are many ways you can continue to support the Fern Centre:
Last updated: June 29, 2020