NICU join UHNM Charity to mark Prematurity Day

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Over 600 staff, members of the public, former patients and their families joined our colleagues from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to mark World Prematurity Day at the Royal Stoke on Monday.

Staff from the Unit were on hand to showcase their work at UHNM and raise awareness of the 15 million babies born prematurely globally every year.


Over £1,000 was raised on the day for UHNM Charity through donations and a fundraising raffle, and UHNM Charity were also in attendance to share the ways we’re using your donations to support NICU, including the introduction of a video messaging app, fingerprint access to the Unit and improvements to patient comforts for parent accommodation and the bereavement room.

Speaking after the event, Jyoti Kapur, Consultant Neonatologist told us: “We are overwhelmed by the positive response we have received from both colleagues and members of the public. It was so rewarding to see so many of our families come back to visit us and to see our NICU graduates do so well. We form a special bond with all our families as we feel we go on a journey together. With UHNM Charity’s ongoing support, we want to make things as comfortable as possible for them during the most difficult times.

The Unit, which can look after 26 babies and their families at a time, is a nationally-recognised level 3 intensive care unit providing the highest possible level of care for vulnerable new-born babies from the local area and across the West Midlands.

Dr Rao Narasimha, Consultant Neonatologist added: “World Prematurity Day should matter to us all as it’s about giving our patients the best possible start in life enabling them to become productive members of society. I’d also like to thank my colleagues in the Unit who have gone to great lengths to make the day a success at their own cost.”

The event was also attended by UHNM Chief Nurse Michelle Rhodes who spent time meeting and talking to staff and patient’s families.

Michelle said: “I’m so proud of our team who are so committed and doing a fantastic job. Our survival outcomes are down to both our nursing teams, doctors and technology available to us, and this should rightly be celebrated.”   

A number of former patients and their families also attended, including Nikki Simpson from Halesowen and son Logan, who spent almost four months in the Unit after being born prematurely at 29 weeks.

Nikki said, “The care we received at the Royal Stoke was absolutely amazing. Staff were so kind and understanding and talked to you as a human. They were also brilliant with my five-year-old daughter, dressing her teddy up as a nurse.”

Charlotte Broome from Hartshill, whose son CJ was treated on the Unit after being born at 29 weeks said: “I cannot fault them, it was all absolutely amazing. Anything they did you were always the first to know. CJ simply wouldn’t be here without them.”

And Rebecca Jackson, whose son Reuben spent three weeks on the Unit following an emergency c-section told us: “The staff here were fantastic at putting my mind at ease. When I couldn’t be there and was in floods of tears down the phone to the doctors and nurses, they were the best.”

A number of donations to UHNM Charity were also made on the day, including £200 generously donated by Margaret Kirkham, whose grandson Sonny was born at 26 weeks weighing just 1lb 9oz.

She said: “Everyone has been marvellous, from the consultants to the reception staff and the housekeepers- they were all so wonderful. The last three months with them have been a lifeline. And for me it’s also really important to have the opportunity to talk with members of UHNM Charity at events like this so I can see where my donations will go and find out what difference it will make.”

If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit www.uhnmcharity.org.uk for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.