Donations help transform Brighton’s Neonatal Unit

Staff and supporters of The Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) at Brighton’s County Hospital have celebrated the completion of refurbishment works and the opening of a new quiet room at the unit.

Before & after shots show space

The improvements cost more than £350k. They were paid for by supporters of BSUH Charity and its partner charity The Early Birth Association (EBA).

Changes took place over several months. These included walls being removed to open up space in the wards so giving parents more privacy.

More space for families

TMBU Matron Claire Hunt said: “It’s a challenging time for any family with a baby on the neonatal unit, so it’s great that we can now offer families a more comfortable space that allows us to maintain their privacy more easily.”

Whilst the main works were funded thanks to donations to BSUH Charity, supporters of its partner charity The EBA made the new quiet room possible.

“It provides a space away from the nurseries and other babies and visitors for staff to talk privately to parents when this is needed,” said Claire Hunt. “These can be difficult, sometimes devastating conversations and the difference that having a calm, private space will make is unquantifiable.”

Some of the EBA team in the quiet room

A new quiet room

Jemma Roberts helped design the space. She was passionate about being involved with the project:

“My daughter Tilly was born prematurely at less than 25 weeks in January 2014 and the first conversation we had with the consultant was in a room where spare equipment was being stored – it just didn’t feel like the right place to be having discussions about whether your baby is likely to make it through the next 24 hours.

“We had many other difficult conversations during her time on the TMBU. A lot were at the side of her incubator, or again in the equipment room.  I am so happy that the unit has this room now and I hope that it helps the parents and families going through one of the most trying times anyone can ever experience.”

Two local businesses helped complete the quiet room to ensure it is as comfortable and as distinct from the hospital environment as possible. DFS kindly donated the furnishings, whilst Dulux provided advice on colour and the paint.

Redesign of nurseries creates space

BSH Charity Director Sarah Tasker watched by BSUH Trust Chairman Alan McCarthy

As well as changes on the nurseries themselves, the layout of the TMBU offices, kitchen and staff room space have also been redesigned. New blinds have also  been installed on the nurseries. They help bring a calmer atmosphere to areas that can be bathed in strong seaside light.

Director of BSUH Charity, Sarah Tasker, whose twins were patients on the unit 17 years ago said: “I know personally how amazing the care at TMBU is.

“It’s great to see the difference donations to BSUH Charity and our partner charity the Early Birth Association have made to the unit and the environment for families of babies spending time here.

Thanks to supporters

“Some of the money spent on this work came from the generous supporters of TMBU staff who abseiled from the i360 in May and raised almost eight thousand pounds. Thanks to them families, babies and staff are all working in a more family friendly environment.”

You donate directly to BSUH Charity’s TMBU fund via Justgiving.

TMBU matron Claire Hunt with a cake to mark the occasion, flanked by Sarah Tasker & the co-chairs of the EBA Michelle Miles and Heidi Crawford