HEALTH: Gold award for children’s hospital is first in Scotland

Charis Samuels, Bliss Baby Charter Scotland Programme Officer, Zoe McFall, Senior Staff Nurse NICU, Ainsley Ballantyne, Senior Charge Nurse NICU and Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, and above the Royal Hospital for Children.

By Lucy Ashton

The neonatal unit at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children has become the first in Scotland to receive the Gold Accreditation award from the Bliss Baby Charter.

Delighted staff at the site were joined by Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd MSP on Tuesday, October 4, for an official presentation of the award.

The team at the RHC’s neonatal unit impressed assessors with their level of family-centred care, with representatives from the Bliss Baby Charter praising the positive approach to feedback, from families of patients, to create a tailored approach to service delivery.

Bliss is a leading UK-based charity for babies who are born premature or sick and supports the families of babies in neonatal care. It also works closely with health professionals to provide training and explore research in neonatal care.

Ainsley Ballantyne, Senior Charge Nurse at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, said: “We are delighted for everyone across the team to be recognised by Bliss Baby Charter for their continued hard work.

“To be the first neonatal unit in Scotland to be given the Gold Accreditation is an added achievement, given the challenges we face every day as the busiest unit in the country, dealing with some of the most complex cases. One of the most rewarding things for us has been hearing parent feedback about how welcoming our staff have been and how they’ve been made to feel at home. During what can be a hugely stressful time for families, it’s so important for us to know we are doing everything we can to provide support.

“The whole team is so passionate about providing the highest standard or family-centred care and this award further highlights this approach, while recognising how much hard work the team have been putting in. With the challenges of last couple of years, it’s a real morale boost for the staff to see how much their efforts are being recognised and appreciated.”

As well as the family-centred approach of the Neonatal Unit, independent assessors also highlighted the supportive staff, multi-language educational and support information, and innovative engagement with families, through tools such as the vCreate secure video service, which allows nurses and doctors to record and share video messages with patients’ families and the use of the hospital app.

Jamie Redfern, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, said: “Our Royal Hospital for Children staff work hard to provide the highest standard of family-centred care and support families and I’m thrilled to see our neonatal unit team being recognised for their dedication to this.

“They have worked tirelessly to become the first unit of their kind in Scotland to achieve Gold Accreditation from the Bliss Baby Charter and we are so proud of everyone involved.”

Minister for Public Health, Ms Todd said: “I am pleased to congratulate the team at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for being the first neonatal unit in Scotland to be awarded the Bliss Baby Charter Gold Accreditation.

“The Unit is leading the way in delivering family focused care, as outlined in The Best Start, our strategy for maternity and neonatal care, and the achievement of the Bliss Baby Charter Gold Accreditation is a great achievement. The presentation of today’s award reflects the immensely important contribution you all provide for the parents and babies in your care.”

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss Scotland, said: “The culture of the Royal Hospital for Children neonatal unit is clearly family-centred, with families referencing an extremely welcoming environment with supportive staff who are always keen to listen and encourage parents to be involved in their baby’s care – which is vital to babies having the best possible outcomes.

“We are thrilled to award the unit with the first Gold Baby Charter accreditation in Scotland – it’s an amazing achievement that the whole team should be proud of, and we look forward to continuing to work with neonatal colleagues across Scotland to build on this progress and support the delivery of excellent family-centred care for all babies.”

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