Closer contact for Telford parents with new neonatal app
The neonatal unit at Shropshire’s women and children’s centre will be the first in the Midlands to use a video technology app to help parents keep in touch with their babies.
Staff will be able to send short films of their patients to parents when they are away from the unit at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
The scheme was trialled at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow last year and 200 parents signed up to the service.
It is hoped the vCreate system will offer reassurance to parents of premature or sick babies while they are being treated on the unit.
The video technology initiative was developed by medics keen to involve families more in patient care.
Parents will be able to access the video clips at any time and through any device.
When they take their babies home, they also have the option to download the clips and save them to form part of a baby care diary.
The maternity app has also won the support of national charity Bliss, which supports families with a baby in neonatal care.
Helen Kelly, healthcare engagement manager at Bliss, said: “At Bliss we know that when parents are supported to spend time with their baby on a neonatal unit this results in better outcomes for babies born premature or sick.
“We recognise that there are often very real barriers to parents being able to spend as much time on a neonatal unit with their baby as they would like to, ranging from availability of accommodation for parents to practical factors such as parking fees and cost of travel.
“It’s great to see technology such as the vCreate system being used by the neonatal unit at the Shropshire women and children’s centre and provide extra reassurance to parents struggling to get to the unit, as it provides another opportunity for parents to keep in contact with the unit and their baby.
“Alongside more practical support measures including hospital accommodation and financial assistance, this could make a real difference for parents of babies on a neonatal unit at an incredibly difficult time.”
The application has received the seal of approval from NHS Digital meaning it is now recognised by the NHS and will enable hospitals to roll out the service more quickly and easily across their trust.