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New accommodation opens for parents at WHH NICU

nicu 2


Families whose children are being treated at William Harvey Hospital’s NICU can now stay in new purpose built accommodation which has opened this week.

The newly refurbished parent flats, located just outside the unit, include kitchen facilities with all the essentials to cook themselves a proper warm meal, a comfortable lounge area, separate bathroom and toilet and two separate bedrooms for parents.


Donations came from a range of sources, including huge support from the Friends of the William Harvey as well as the hospitals charity fund ‘Tiny Toes’ and from building company Bauvill, who as well as carrying out the building work, donated a television for the lounge.

The bedrooms also both contain a breast pump and small fridge, to enable mothers to still provide breast milk for their baby.

The NICU unit at William Harvey has 25 cots and cares for babies requiring special care, whether it is due to prematurity, illness at delivery or health problems during the baby’s stay at hospital.

Going home for the evening can be anxiety-inducing for parents, particularly for those with very sick babies who fear what could happen while they are away. One parent even said: “given the choice between leaving my right arm or leaving my baby, my arm would have been left.”

Helen Weymouth, Head of Child Services, said: “On the neonatal intensive care unit we care for very vulnerable babies on the edge of viability or extremely sick for Kent and the surrounding areas.

"For those parents who live far away from the hospital or whose baby is in a critical condition it is imperative for them to be able to stay close to their baby to give their child the best possible chance of survival and good long-term health.

“When your baby is very sick, you can forget to look after yourself. The close proximity of the flats will hopefully mean these families have somewhere to rest and eat, whilst knowing their little one is still nearby.

“It is wonderful that through this collaborative work we have been able to open this flat. We can't thank everyone enough for their kind donations and generosity with their time in supporting this project.”

The close proximity of the flats will hopefully mean these families have somewhere to rest and eat, whilst knowing their little one is still nearby."
Helen Waymouth, Head of Child Services

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