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The Early Birth Association

The Early Birth Association makes a positive difference for babies, families and staff in Neonatal Care at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

www.earlybirth.co.uk

Charity

Registered charity no. 286727

Member since June 2020

Latest News

Grocery supplies delivered to units

Grocery supplies delivered to units

We have been busy continuing to delivering food shopping to both units.💛 Thanks to your fundraising we can continue to do this for parents. These essential food items and treats really do make such a difference to keeping both energy levels and morale up on the Units.

The EBA is funding The Wishing Well Music for Health programme – bringing therapeutic live music for wellbeing to TMBU and PRH SCBU

The EBA is funding The Wishing Well Music for Health programme – bringing therapeutic live music for wellbeing to TMBU and PRH SCBU

After a successful pilot project, The EBA is very happy to announce that we are now fully funding The Wishing Well Music for Health programme for musicians to play live music within the special care and high dependency nurseries at TMBU and at PRH. The music is played to lead into quiet time offering an opportunity for parents and babies to bond and benefit from the therapeutic sound. The musicians aim to create a softer clinical environment that supports well-being of both the babies and the parents/carers on the units. Jo and Bela are the musicians who visit the units regularly.

Jo has told us, “The feedback has been really positive from parents – we continue to be very mindful about respecting privacy and space. In some visits we are playing for the unit as a whole and in others, we are interacting directly with families and singing with them – we are very much guided by how each unit feels on each visit and work accordingly. We move between instrumental music, songs and improvisation so that there is a good range of music for people to listen to.  Amidst lots of general thanks and smiles, a few comments that we have collected include;

‘It’s like he’s having his own private recital!’ – from a Mum who came into the unit to find us crouched down playing Brahms Lullaby to her baby, on cello and accordion.

‘You sounded so amazing in there – beautiful voices. It made me think about how that was the first time my son has ever heard live music – thank you so much. You should come every day’ – from a Dad we met in the lift on the way down from TMBU

‘You can see he is listening to you – thank you!’ – From a Mum at TMBU who then filmed us playing music to her son so that her husband could hear us too..

The staff have made us feel incredibly welcome and we have had lots of comments from them on much the music has helped them to feel less stressed.”

Rachel, one of the Neonatal Nurses from TMBU, also gave us this wonderful feedback on having Wishing Well visit the unit when she’s working,

“I loved it when Wishing Well came into Nursery Two. As a nurse on a busy neonatal unit it is amazing to see the impact that the Wishing Well ladies have on our unit. Instead of machines beeping and talking the nurseries are filled with calming, gentle and soothing music. You can instantly see the babies benefitting. They appear calmer and seem to sleep better. You can see parents swaying or gently singing in time to the music. You even see staff joining in as they work! The ladies create a really lovely, peaceful environment which everybody benefits from. Thank you so much!”

To find out more about Wishing Well please have a look on their website http://wishingwellmusic.org.uk

All of us at The EBA would like to thank all of our fundraisers and people who make donations as it’s so amazing to be able to offer funding for such a unique and innovative project on the neonatal units that is clearly making such a positive difference.

The Early Birth Association keeps families together through new technology system introduced to neonatal units

The Early Birth Association keeps families together through new technology system introduced to neonatal units

The Early Birth Association is proud to announce we are helping to keep families together through a new technology system introduced to neonatal units. 💛

As part of our ongoing commitment to keep families of premature and sick babies together, we have introduced a new video system to the neonatal units at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, facilitating the sharing of updates, milestones and precious memories of babies to parents unable to be at their side.

Further heightened by the Coronavirus pandemic, the vCreate system has been a major part of connecting parents and their vulnerable babies at a time when family visits are limited, helping to reduce stress and anxiety at what is an extraordinarily difficult time. Supported by this new technology, The EBA has so far helped over 80 families since the launch in March across the two units it supports; the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. The vCreate system will remain at both units so that parents have access to treasured moments in their babies’ lives, whenever they cannot be with them.

Administered by unit staff, the vCreate platform allows for the sharing of secure video updates to parents, minimising separation anxiety and increasing mental wellbeing. Along with keeping families connected, it allows for health and care updates to be shared in the form of short video recordings, building over time to create a secure online video diary, which can then be downloaded and kept by the family when their child leaves hospital care. Staff on both units have undergone training in order to use the system and ensure that parents and their families are able to benefit from precious moments that would otherwise go unshared.

Claire Hunt, Neonatal Matron at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit said:

“Introducing the new vCreate system has been revolutionary for maintaining that critical link between parent and baby, when they are unable to be together as a family. This is already an intensely difficult time for any family on the unit, which has only been heightened over the last few months, but we are already seeing the hugely positive difference it is making to parents, who have remarked that it has reduced their anxiety and provided more peace of mind when they are unable to be at their baby’s bedside.”

Thanks to public support for its recent fundraising campaign, The EBA has supplied eight iPads which are now working in conjunction with vCreate at both units, so that parents have the best possible access to their babies in difficult circumstances, and can share in those special early moments together.

Heidi Crawford, Co-Chair of The Early Birth Association and former parent on TMBU, said:

“Having a child on the neonatal unit is one of the most stressful experiences a parent will have to face, and the limitations on being with your baby night and day, even in more settled times, can have a devastating effect on mental health. Whilst nothing will replace the human touch, providing an opportunity for parents to stay updated with their child’s progress and to remain a part of their care, even when they cannot be there in person, is absolutely vital in creating early parent-child experiences and in forming a critical family bond.”

About vCreate

vCreate is the NHS Trusted secure cloud-based video platform, used in over 100 NHS neonatal and paediatric intensive care units across the UK. The platform provides secure video updates to parents of poorly or premature babies and children, minimising separation anxiety and increasing mental wellbeing. Along with keeping families connected, it allows for health and care updates to be shared, which is even more critical in this current global crisis when most family visits to hospitals are limited.