The September You Made a Difference team award goes to a team who make patients and families feel like their priority – the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are a large multi professional team with over 50 medical staff, 150 nursing staff, support staff and allied health professionals including pharmacists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists.
The team work collaboratively with the maternity unit to provide the best care for babies and families and ensure parents are treated as equal partners in their baby’s care.
The NICU has 40 cots and provides care to sick babies and their families from the 17 units within the East of England and beyond. They moved into the new neonatal unit in 2012 and care for over 500 babies a year. They also care for babies who are with their mothers on the postnatal wards.
The NICU’s recent SEED Project (Supporting, Empowering, Enhancing Development) focuses on improving the wellbeing of everyone involved in the unit – staff and families. They recently won an award from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) and are well on our way to embedding family integrated care into the unit.
The team’s compassion is reflected in the winning nomination from the relative of a patient, extracts of which told us:
“Our child is an IVF baby. Our child's dad is a paramedic and I'm a specialist lead nurse. Our roles within the NHS are an important part of our story and journey. Our child was born via c-section which was not straightforward as expected. After a traumatic delivery, watching our child be resuscitated will be something that will stay with us forever.
“As people who are used to being on the team involved in resus, we felt powerless while we watched our world fall apart. Our child was transferred to NICU where we were thrust into an environment which was familiar and alien all at the same time.
“From the moment we arrived in NICU, the team spoke to us as professionals, but looked after us as new and frightened parents.
Every member of staff we encountered over the time we were in the NICU went above and beyond to support us, and provided the best possible care.
“The team gave us realistic expectations, kept us informed and, when the NHS was under the most unimaginable pressure, we felt like we were their priority.
“To the doctor who led our child's resus, followed up by a thorough and detailed debrief - this really helped process everything that happened and why.
“To the doctor who cared for our child in the early stages of their admission, your calm and methodical approach was followed by information that was hard to hear but you never gave us false hope, you are incredible.
“Our child is now seven months old, doing amazingly well and appears to have survived unscathed. They are our absolute miracle.
Thank you isn't enough. You saved their life, you held us together when we were utterly broken. We are forever indebted to you all.