Help GWH special care babies get best start in life

Posted: March 13, 2018

Brighter Futures' £175,000 appeal for new incubators

Brighter Futures has launched a new appeal to support the Great Western Hospital's smallest patients during the toughest fight of their lives. 
 
The £175,000 Incubator Appeal was officially unveiled on Tuesday 20 March and will see the charity fund five brand new incubators for the hospital's Special Care Baby Unit.
 
These state-of-the-art machines, which are kitted out with a range of hi-tech features, will replace the unit's current equipment and will help staff provide tailored care to the 450 premature babies born at GWH every year.
 
As well as a hood that can be opened with just one finger, the incubators can be adjusted higher or lower to allow mums who may be in a wheelchair after giving birth the opportunity to get as close as possible to their newborn. 

An iPod port is also included as standard with the new models, allowing parents to play soft music or even their own voice recordings to the baby. 

Local charity New Life, which works across the region to support premature babies in hospital, has pledged its support to the appeal and will purchase one of the incubators straight away. 
 

Best start in life

Catherine Newman, Head of Brighter Futures, said: "Everyone deserves the best start in life, and we know these incubators will provide the latest technology to support our staff in SCBU and to make things just that little bit easier for parents.
 
"Raising £175,000 will allow us to replace five of the 10 existing incubators in SCBU and we're delighted to have the support of New Life to help us reach this goal."
 
Trevor Goodall set up New Life in 1995 in memory of his two sons, who were both born three months early. 
 
He said: "I'm delighted to be working with Brighter Futures on this appeal as it's something very close to my heart. We will do all we can to help the team achieve the total as quickly as possible."

Dr Sarah Bates, Consultant Neonatologist, said: "These incubators use the very latest technology to help the neonatal team give our very smallest and sickest babies the best chance at a healthy future. 

"Evidence shows that having close contact with parents early on is very beneficial and these incubators support that in a very special way. 

"This appeal will make a huge difference to so many babies and families who require help from the Special Care Baby Unit in the future."

Parent Sophie Cooke knows more than most what it's like to have a child needing special care, as both her daughters were cared for in SCBU. 
 
She said: "Having two children stay in SCBU is without a doubt the hardest and most painful thing I have ever had to endure. I still can't walk past the door to the unit without struggling to catch my breath.
 
"Words cannot express how grateful we are to SCBU - we will forever be in the debt of everybody who helped us."

How to donate

People can support the Incubator Appeal by texting the word SCBU18 followed by the donation amount to 70070. 

Donations can also be made online at www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk or by calling the Brighter Futures team on 01793 605631.

Visit the website for further information on the appeal and to read more stories from parents of premature children. 

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