Staff and supporters of the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital have been celebrating the completion of refurbishment works and the opening of a new quiet room.
The improvements, which cost more than £350k, were paid for by supporters of BSUH Charity and the Early Birth Association (EBA). The changes took place over several months, including walls being removed to open up space in the wards to give parents more privacy.
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. It provides a space away from the nurseries and other babies and visitors for staff to talk privately to parents when this is needed. These can be difficult, sometimes devastating conversations and the difference that having a calm, private space will make is unquantifiable.”
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. I’m 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.”
As well as changes on the wards themselves, the layout of the TMBU offices, along with kitchen and staff room space have also been redesigned this year. New blinds have been installed on the wards helping to 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 ward 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 wards and the environment for families of babies spending time here.”