Access to specialist equipment helps all parents having a baby at QCCH and St Mary's.
Equipment requirements in maternity are huge and include a broad range of items. These require significant allocations of finance to purchase and maintain and can take years to fund.
We have already funded some much needed equipment which supports the provision of efficient care, helps with diagnosis and treatment of babies and reduces waiting time and risk. One example of this is handheld kits used to test for heart abnormalities and jaundice testing kits for use by the community midwives. We have also funded specialist breast pumps to help premature babies feed whilst in hospital.
Additional training for maternity staff enables them to develop their skills further, which is especially important when working with families who face challenging circumstances.
To date you have helped us to contribute to additional bereavement and counselling training for a selection of front line staff with additional courses in the plans. Poppy's Fund has also assisted with feeding-courses and tongue-tie training which helps identify and treat babies with tongue-tie, a condition which can cause huge difficulty and pain when feeding, ultimately lading to the baby not gaining weight and potential rehospitalisation.
We have also begun to develop and distribute educational materials to support parents and their babies and provided translations to support key patient groups.
By creating a warm and welcoming environment for our patients, we will ensure their experience is as positive and comfortable as it can be.
Thanks to your generosity, we have already paid for new recliner bed chairs for parents which enable the family to stay together after the birth of a baby, especially significant for those who need to stay in hospital for a while, or who need additional support before or after birth plus additional items and artwork to improve the bereavement suite at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea.
Poppy's Fund has also been able to support a simple revamp of a roof terrace off of the labour ward, providing an outdoor seating area for staff and patients. This has given people a dedicated space to get outside and take a breather, something that has never been more important for mental health and wellbeing.
Your money has helped to ensure women are as comfortable and supported as they can be during birth. We have recently been able to purchase essential 'bundles' for vulnerable women who come to hospital with very little, if not nothing. These women may be victims of domestic violence, have housing or financial issues or be experiencing mental health issues and the bundles provide them with all the essentials they need of them and their baby in hospital. From nappies, clothing and wipes for the baby to underwear and sanitary items for the mother, the bundles are providing essential support to those who most need it. The bundles are £30 and we have been able to buy 100 as a starting point.
Poppy's Fund has also purchased specialist birthing beds for the wards which has only been possible due to your contributions.
Many items required for birth ideally need replacing often and we have also replaced items such as birthing stools and balls and other equipment to help women at this time.
The smallest donations add up and will make a big difference to achieving the ambitions of the fund.