Appeal to help baby units at Brighton and Haywards Heath hospitals

The Early Birth Association (EBA) which helps babies and their families in the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital and Trevor Mann Baby Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital is calling for support.

Due to the unprecedented times from the threat of coronavirus, the number of visitors allowed on both baby units has been limited.

This has meant that some parents are unable to be with their babies during what is already an unimaginably difficult time.

The EBA is now calling out to members of the public who can help them fund five iPads across both units so parents can remain virtually in touch with their baby’s progress.

Trevor Mann Baby Unit consultant Cassie Lawn with parents

Claire Hunt, neonatal matron at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit, said: “Having a poorly newborn baby is incredibly difficult in any circumstances, but with the current restrictions, parents are finding themselves cut off from their child’s precious first moments and from being an active part of their care.

“Through funds raised by the EBA, as staff, we will be able to share moments and milestones in new ways with those who, whilst they cannot be there in person, can remain virtually in touch with their baby’s progress.”

Thanks to public support, one iPad is now in operation at TMBU, and is already having a significant impact on those who most need it.

Heidi Crawford, co-chair of the EBA, said: “As a former parent at TMBU, I know first-hand how hard it is to have your baby born into an environment where they will not survive without intervention, and to watch their primary care delivered by someone else.

The Early Birth Association (EBA) committee member Kirsten Genard with her husband Paulo and son Remy

“It goes against all your natural instinct even to leave them at the end of the day, so to be unable to be there in person whatsoever is unthinkable, albeit necessary at this time.

“Never has the human touch been more poignant than for parents away from their children right now, we really need as much support as possible to enable that vital connection between parents and their babies at this time.”

For more information or to donate to the EBA’s campaign, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/helpingfamiliestokeepincontact.

Kirsten Genard with her husband Paulo and son Remy