Date of release: 5 May 2020
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has introduced a video link for parents to see their new-born babies’ precious moments to help deal with the restrictions in place under the Covid-19 outbreak.
Visiting to the Neonatal Unit at New Cross Hospital is currently one parent, once a day. Parents and their babies can feel isolated and anxious while they are separated, so the Trust has brought in vCreate, a free, secure messaging service where staff share videos and pictures of a baby’s first experiences with parents who aren’t able to be present on the ward.
Once the images are created, the parents receive a message via the vCreate platform to their mobile devices to let them know they have video of their baby. They can then leave a message to staff and download and share the content with friends and relatives.
Nikki Farrington, Specialist Nurse in Bereavement & Family Support, said: “At times parents aren’t allowed to visit their babies, or they can’t because they’re at home, so vCreate allows us to create and send videos and pictures when they are not here. Babies might open their eyes for the first time or have their first bath or first feed and we are able to capture those moments, not just as a still picture but on video, which makes it feel much more real for the families. Parent support here has never been more vital and as a unit we are doing everything we can to ensure that contact is maintained between parents and their babies.”
vCreate on the Neonatal Unit Video
Kate Cheshire, Matron for Neonatal and in-patient Obstetric Services, said: “vCreate will also be available to families with babies on Transitional Care where mothers remain in hospital with their baby but partners and other family members cannot visit.”
Some mothers might be poorly so cannot see their baby for several hours while others could have to visit ITU, and that separation can be an anxious time. This is another example where vCreate can help. Staff can take pictures and video of their baby and show them to its mother to provide reassurance.
The Neonatal Unit has received donations of six iPads - four from the Trust’s IT department and two from Libby Mae’s Little Angels, a charity set up to provide medical equipment needed to look after babies on neonatal units across the Midlands. Each room on the Trust’s unit will have its own iPad, located in Special Care, High Dependency ITU and one in each of the isolation cubicles so those areas remain infection prevention friendly.
If a parent is showing symptoms of coronavirus they can only visit after a negative test result or seven days after onset of symptoms, as long as they are not showing symptoms at that time. The other parent cannot visit until after the parent tested has a negative result or 14 days after symptoms. While they are within the government guidelines for self-isolation they cannot visit if they live in the same house. In such cases the Trust would allow a family member nominated by the parents who doesn’t live at same address to visit instead.
Staff are also wearing bigger name badges over their personal protective equipment (PPE) along with photos of themselves to help parents identify with clinicians easier.
The Neonatal unit is also looking at video calling parents during ward rounds during the next few weeks to allow mothers and fathers to be central to their baby’s care.
Kate Cheshire added: “We are planning to use the video calling for Neonatal ward rounds on the Transitional Care ward as well as exploring how this can support women on the Maternity ward who can’t have their partners present.”
Notes to Editor