Hospital’s video contact system gives parents new hope during pandemic
- Credit: Archant
A new video contact system giving parents the chance to see their babies virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic was launched earlier than planned at a Cambridgeshire hospital.
The initiative had been discussed by Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to help parents who could not visit their critically-ill babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to health or social circumstances.
However, the system was rolled out during the first coronavirus lockdown through donations from the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and Novosco, the hospital’s IT company, allowing parents to maintain video contact with their babies whilst apart.
Before the pandemic began, families could stay with their babies for an unlimited time, and without the new system, they would have only been allowed one hour each day to see their newborn child.
Mary King, NICU matron at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said: “The introduction of the video system has given parents the opportunity to see their baby so they can feel closer to them even when they are unable to visit.
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“Parents have been able to speak to the team looking after their baby for support, reassurance and updates.
“The video system has also allowed mothers who are unwell and still at their local hospital to see their babies and speak with the NICU team.”
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Louise and Dave Leverton were one of the first couples to try the new system with their 10-month-old son Noah, who was born prematurely in November 2019.
The couple had been with Noah for four months before being told the NICU had to close when Covid-19 struck, but hope was not lost.
“The team explained they would do everything they could to enable us to see Noah and that it was important that he could hear our voice and that we could see him,” Louise said.
“I can’t describe how much that meant, being able to see him on the screen. It really reassured us that he was doing well and that he could stay connected to us.”
Ellen Dickson, client director at Novosco, added: “Drawing on our expertise to put the technology in place just made sense when the challenges of visiting babies emerged during lockdown.
“To play even a small part of alleviating those worries and concerns for families was amazing.”
To donate to the NICU at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, visit: https://www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk/donate/single-nicu-ants.