Parents can see babies through new video contact system

Helen Beavis, NICI lead nurse, and Claire Danobrega, clinical education lead nurse, with the new video contact system for Add...

Helen Beavis, NICI lead nurse, and Claire Danobrega, clinical education lead nurse, with the new video contact system for Addenbrooke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST - Credit: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

A new video contact system gives parents virtual contact with their babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The new video contact system to support parents with babies in Addenbrooke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Picture: ADDENBROO...

The new video contact system to support parents with babies in Addenbrooke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST - Credit: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

The planned launch was brought forward because of coronavirus.

Before the virus hit, families could stay with their babies around the clock. Without the new system in place, parents would only have been able to see their babies for one hour each day.

Through donations from Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust donors and the support of the hospital’s IT company, Novosco, Addenbrooke’s was able to accelerate the project.

NICU matron Mary King 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.

Louise and Dave were one of the first families to try out the video contact system. Son Noah who was born extremely premature...

Louise and Dave were one of the first families to try out the video contact system. Son Noah who was born extremely prematurely in November 2019. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST - Credit: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust


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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. It has also been used by the psychology team to provide sessions with parents. We are very grateful to ACT and Novosco for all of their support.”

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Louise and Dave were one of the first families to try the link. They are the parents of 10-month-old Noah who was born extremely prematurely in November 2019.

Louise said: “During the Covid outbreak we had already been in the NICU with Noah for four months and we were just getting to the ‘going home’ stage.

Noah was born extremely prematurely in November 2019. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST

Noah was born extremely prematurely in November 2019. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST - Credit: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

“When coronavirus hit, they had to close the unit to all visitors including parents. We couldn’t go and see Noah and were heartbroken. That was one of the hardest days, having to accept that. It was devastating not being able to see him.

“It was then that the team explained the possibility of the new video link. They explained that 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.

“So we went home and while there, suddenly my phone rang, and a video call popped up. It was Noah! The team had connected the video link so that we could see Noah in the unit from home.

“We got a chance to see Noah and talk to him. It really reassured us that he was doing well and that he could stay connected to us.

Noah was born extremely prematurely in November 2019. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST

Noah was born extremely prematurely in November 2019. Picture: ADDENBROOKE'S CHARITABLE TRUST - Credit: Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

“The idea of not being able to see our son for so long after everything that had happened was unimaginable, so we can’t thank the NICU team enough for doing everything in their power to facilitate that connection.”

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