Award success for Neonatal nurses
Nurses who care for premature and sick, newborn babies at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have been recognised and rewarded for their dedication and expertise by BLISS, the premature baby charity in the first BLISS Baby Charter Neonatal Awards.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the NNUH was short listed for three out of the five awards (the only unit in the country to be shortlisted for three awards) and received a special commendation in the Innovation Team Award.
This award was for successfully implementing and setting-up nurse led care for low dependency/special care babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Nurse-led care on the neonatal unit is new and innovative and the first of its kind in the country.
On receiving this special commendation award from Dr Hilary Jones, Carol Gubby neonatal outreach sister said: “It is great to receive such recognition for dedication and expertise especially as there was a very high standard of competition from much larger specialist units than ourselves”.
This nurse-led care came about following the success of their nurse-led outreach service which was set up in 2000. In 2004 it was decided to expand the scope of the care already provided by the outreach nurses by starting the discharge planning process from the moment the babies arrived in the special care nursery. The aim is to provide nurse-led care for low dependency/special care, whilst the babies are still in hospital, and then continuing this on into the community.
The objectives of the nurse-led team are to provide:
- Independent decision-making regarding the care of special care babies whilst in hospital thus freeing up consultant time for the smaller, sicker babies
- Planning and implementing individual care programmes for these infants and their families
- Individualising care packages to meet the needs of each family in preparation for discharge of their baby or babies, i.e. teaching skills such as feeding, temperature control, resuscitation and general infant care
- Earlier discharge
Carol Gubby said: “Already this nurse-led care is fully accepted by parents as we now have more time to teach parents and carers the necessary skills to enable them to be confident when taking their precious babies home. We are getting smaller infants home faster and this provides a two-fold benefit, firstly it's better for family life and secondly it's freeing up valuable cots on the unit.”