Restrictions are being introduced at Hull’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) now to protect Hull’s most vulnerable babies from COVID-19.
Staff at the NICU are implementing policy by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure the babies on the unit are shielded as much as possible from the dangers of the virus.
From now, just one parent will be able to visit the unit for the duration of the baby’s stay, unless their child is critically ill. If two parents are able to visit because their child is critically ill or receiving end-of-life care, just one will be allowed by their baby’s cot at a time.
NICU staff are also working to set up a video link for parents where they can see their babies through a password-protected app.
Visiting parents will be allocated visiting times to ensure they are at a safe distance apart of at least two metres.
Only parents staying on the unit with their critically ill baby will be able to use the family kitchen with just one visitor allowed in at a time to maintain the two-metre isolation rule.
No visitors will be allowed for mothers and babies on Transitional Care in line with the policy for the rest of Hull Women and Children’s Hospital.
Consultant Neonataologist Joanna Preece said: “We know how difficult this will be for families but they would expect us to do everything in our power to protect their babies and to maintain staffing levels to deliver this care.
“Our priority must be the babies in our care and taking these steps will ensure we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of the virus being spread in the unit.”
NICU Manager Kate Lamming said: “I have written a letter for all parents to explain we have their babies’ best interests at heart. We are taking these steps to protect their babies, the staff who are caring for their babies and the parents themselves.
“We are very grateful for their understanding of the need to take these difficult steps.”
[Allison Coggan – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust]