Southampton neonatal intensive care unit wins national charity 'thank you' award

The neonatal intensive care unit at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton has been honoured by Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity, for its work to improve care for babies born premature or sick.

Lisa Leppard, family care sister on the unit, received the national 2016 Bliss Improving Care award in a dedicated ‘thank you’ ceremony held at the Stratford-upon-Avon Home and Garden Show, where a special, engraved glass memento commemorating the unit’s achievement was presented to her by Bliss chief executive Caroline Davey in front of an audience of invited guests.

She was among award winners in eight different categories to be honoured for their outstanding contribution to Bliss’ work across the UK with babies born premature or sick and their families.

In May, the Princess Anne Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – which is part of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust – became the first in the UK to gain official Bliss Baby Charter accreditation for its family-centred care for premature and sick babies following a two-year process of audit, action and evaluation involving both health professionals and parents of babies needing neonatal care.

The Bliss Baby Charter was developed by Bliss to help hospitals caring for premature and sick babies to assess the quality of care they provide and identify areas for improvement. (For more information, please visit: http://www.bliss.org.uk/bffas). Extensive research has shown that putting families at the heart of their baby’s care is hugely beneficial.

Ms Leppard said: “At the Princess Anne Hospital neonatal unit, we are passionate about the care our babies and families receive so we are all immensely proud to receive this award. Working with Bliss to achieve family-friendly accreditation earlier this year really helped us to focus on the care we give our families, as well as their babies.

"We are also working collaboratively with colleagues across the region to share best practice so that other families and babies benefit too.”

Caroline Davey, chief executive of Bliss added: “I’m delighted to recognise the invaluable contribution that the neonatal team at the Princess Anne Hospital has made to improving care for babies born premature or sick.

“This award recognises not only the excellent care they deliver for babies born premature or sick, but also the positive example of improvement that they set for neonatal units across the UK.

"We know the team has worked really hard to achieve Bliss Baby Charter accreditation and to embed parents at the heart of their babies’ care and we are thrilled to celebrate their fantastic efforts in this way.”

The Princess Anne Hospital’s NICU has 36 cots – 20 intensive or high dependency cots and 16 special care cots. It is one of the largest in the country, seeing approximately 750 babies a year from across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and the Channel Islands.

Posted on Monday 18 July 2016