Shining a light on neonatal care

In the last 26 years, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon has received over £500k worth of specialist equipment from the charity, New Life Special Care Babies for its neo-natal department.

During a recent visit for a BBC South feature, CEO Trevor Goodall met with Consultant Dr Hannah Langford-Wood for an update on how the latest equipment supplied had made a difference to the babies the unit cares for.

Dr Hannah demonstrated a new light valued at £1000 which, when held to the baby’s skin, illuminates their tiny veins.  “This means”, said Dr Hannah, “that we can easily see their tiny veins when canulating.  This makes it much easier for us to get the cannula in the first time, giving us less chance of bruising and causing distress.  On the ward, we affectionately call this ‘Trevor’s special light’!”

The twin incubator is another recent addition to the department, funded by New Life, meaning that premature twins can lie close together rather than being separated in two separate incubators.

The visit brought home to Mr Goodall, whose twins Joshua and Samuel were born at 24 weeks and survived only a few days, how much neo-natal care has progressed and how the equipment his charity funds is making such a difference to these tiny babies and their families.  “It’s a massive legacy for my twin boys.” said Mr Goodall, “They were here and gone within a week, it was so tragic. To think they have helped me to go on and help so many other babies is just fantastic.”

The next chapter for the charity is to bring a well-known figure on board as an Ambassador to take the fundraising to the next level so that hundreds more premature babies can be helped.