Investment in specialist equipment worth nearly £50,000 will allow faster and more efficient treatment for seriously ill newborns and help to improve comfort for mums with complex pregnancies in the maternity and neonatal units at Royal Preston Hospital.
Two Lifestart trolleys, enabling the resuscitation and stabilisation of newborns by the bedside and with the umbilical cord intact, have been purchased for the unit at a cost of nearly £28,000 thanks to neonatal and maternity charity Baby Beat, which supports services for mums and babies on the maternity units at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.
Ordinarily, any baby who requires resuscitation is separated from their mother, which is not considered best practice.
Emma Ashton, Consultant Midwife at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Providing initial care to a baby by the mother’s side means that the baby can have the benefit of optimal cord clamping, which has been shown to improve outcomes for newborn babies and has long term benefits to children as they grow and develop. Mothers can see the treatment that their baby is receiving, if they wish, and communication between the mother, birth partner and clinician is enhanced, giving reassurance that the baby is receiving the best possible care."
Further funding has been made available by Baby Beat to fund two mobile telemetry units to add to the three in use by the maternity unit since 2016. Baby Beat was able to fund the units with the support of a £20,000 grant from the Morrison’s Foundation.
The equipment helps ensure expectant mums remain as mobile as possible when complex pregnancies require additional monitoring of the baby in the womb.
It can be used to monitor the baby's heartbeat even in the birthing pool.
Emma Gornall, Delivery Suite Manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Having the additional telemetry monitors means that women can be more active during labour whilst still having their baby monitored and can make the birth choices they desire safely on the delivery suite."
Find out more about Baby Beat at www.babybeat.org.uk