As part of its long term plan to become a fully accredited Bliss Baby Charter Unit, the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) has rolled out the use of noise cancelling headphones in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), enabling parents to spend more quality time with newborns while protecting patient confidentiality during medical ward rounds.
Currently during ward rounds, only parents of the baby that the doctors are discussing at that time can stay in the nursery. Everyone else must leave so that doctors can speak freely and confidentially to the parents concerned without other parents overhearing. The new wireless radio headphones will block out background noise, including conversations, allowing parents to stay with their babies even while NICU doctors and nurses carry out the daily ward rounds.
The introduction of the new headphones to NICU, a project led by Claire Adamson, Lead for Nursing Clinical Quality is one of the many steps the L&D are taking to further improve their approach to family-centred care.
Sarah, proud parent of twins born at the L&D commented on the implementation of the new headphones: “They are a really good idea to facilitate staying with your baby whilst doctors are on the ward and confidential conversations are taking place.”
NICU Clinical Director, Dr Jennifer Birch said “We are committed to fully involving parents in the care of their baby on the NICU and to delivering truly family-centred neonatal care in order to improve parents’ experience at this very challenging time.
“We are aiming to become one of the few Bliss accredited hospitals, and the introduction of the new headphones to the NICU is a welcome step forward in that process. I’m extremely proud of the team who worked hard to raise money for the project, generating over £700 from a cake sale held for World Prematurity Day. It’s great to see that this small change has made such a positive impact and parents can now spend more time participating in the care of their baby.”
The Neonatal Unit at the L&D is one of only three units in the East of England who provide intensive care (Level 3) for the most premature and sick newborn babies. 1 in 7 babies born will need admission and support from the Neonatal Team.
The L&D have three separate nurseries, one for intensive care, one for special care and one for high dependency. There are 37 cots in the Unit in total. 11 are intensive care cots, 8 are for high dependency and 18 are special care cots.