Saint Mary’s Hospital to deliver ‘First in the UK’ developmental care programme for neonatal babies
Saint Mary's Hospital provides world class services to women and
children across the Greater Manchester area. As a Trust that
continuously improves it's services it is also now the first
hospital in the UK to deliver the internationally renowned Philips
'Wee-care programme' in the neonatal unit.
The eighteen-month quality improvement programme has already had
successes in Europe and across the USA, and will now be developed
The new-born intensive care unit has already successfully
implemented Baby Friendly and Best Beginnings initiatives in recent
years, and the 'Wee-care' programme is the latest development tool
that they have adopted to ensure they are striving to enhance the
care they provide.
The developmental care programme aims to minimise the potential
detrimental effects that are sometimes the result of a prolonged
stay in intensive care.
Areas such as positioning and handling of the babies will all be
addressed, and significant positive outcomes are anticipated
including strengthening breastfeeding rates and improving noise and
light levels that newborns are exposed to.
Starting with an educational aspect, all staff on the new-born
intensive care unit are in the process of undergoing training to
take forward the goals of the programme, which include:
- Maintaining a healing environment with lowered noise and light
levels to ensure adequate sleep is obtained by the babies
- Improving the infant and family experience through enhancement
of 'kangaroo care'; the skin to skin contact it is possible for
parents to have with premature babies
- Correct positioning and handling of babies to aid
- Optimising nutrition with implementation of infant driven
feeding and support for transitioning to breastfeeding.
When the programme is fully embedded in the unit there will be
several tangible benefits, including increased breastfeeding rates,
increased levels of skin-to-skin care given to babies, and reduced
stay times in hospital.
Ngozi Edi-Osagie, Clinical Director for Saint Mary's NICU
"As a unit we treat around 1000 babies a year, and support them
and their families during what is an incredibly traumatic and
"Developmental care is a high priority when treating these
babies, and if there is anything we can do to minimise the impact
their stay with us has on their long term development, then it is
"The Philips programme was a logical next step for us in
improving our services, and we're thrilled to be the first in the
UK to be implementing it.
"Our intention is that we will be looked to as a centre of best
practice for developmental care, and that the principles we adopt
in 'Wee-care' will be extremely beneficial to our patients."
As Leslie Altimier, Director of Clinical Affairs &
Education, Philips Healthcare comments "We are delighted to be able
to support Saint Mary's in this forward thinking project which aims
to secure the best possible outcomes for premature infants and
their families. By seeking to develop an holistic approach, improve
the overall experience and positively impact on the time spent in
hospital, Wee Care is just one example of how our
healthcare solutions and innovative, evidence-based
programmes aim to make a real difference to people's lives."
- Ends -