Public invited to share World Prematurity Day with neonatal staff on 17 November

Public invited to share World Prematurity Day with neonatal staff on 17 November
04 November 2014

NEONATAL staff at The Royal Oldham Hospital will be joining their healthcare colleagues across the world to observe an international awareness day in November.

World Prematurity Day is held every year on 17 November and the day looks to raise awareness of the serious issues that premature babies and their families face.

Staff from The Royal Oldham Hospital’s specialist neonatal unit will be holding a special fundraising and awareness event including a craft fair for local families on Saturday 15 November between 11am and 3pm.

The event is open to the general public and particularly those parents and families from Oldham, Rochdale and surrounding areas who have experienced their children being born prematurely and who have been treated by neonatal staff.

Held in the hospital main entrance area, neonatal staff will be on hand to meet members of the public and fundraise for their department which is now two years old.

Nicky Park, sister on the neonatal unit at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “This is the second year that we have held a fundraising event to coincide with World Prematurity Day and our staff have been busy making craft items to sell on our stalls.  The items including glass charms, knitted baby badges, loom band purses and fairy and Santa dust bottles will all make great Christmas presents!

“There will also be a tombola raffle and all proceeds will go towards the neonatal unit.  Last year we managed to raise £800 which bought toys for our family room, as well as small tables and chairs for siblings to use in the nursery whilst they are visiting premature babies with their family.  We hope that the general public will support us again this year and enjoy a fun afternoon.”

Representatives from the Blood Bikes Charity and Bliss will also be attending the event.  The Blood Bikes charity provides urgent out of hours transportation of blood products and similar medical supplies free of charge to the NHS. 

Bliss is the UK’s special care baby charity, that helps care for premature and sick babies, supporting families, funding research and campaigning.

Every year 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon and sadly around one million will not survive.  There are 60,000 babies born prematurely in the UK.

The Royal Oldham Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is one of three specialist regional level 3 ne neonatal centres providing the highest levels of intensive care to the smallest and most vulnerable babies in Greater Manchester.

Staff in the unit work closely with midwifes on the maternity unit to ensure the quick and safe transfer of any extremely pre-term babies or poorly vulnerable babies born with complications. Women whose babies were born prematurely receive specialist care on the unit. It offers 37 cots including 9 intensive care, 9 high dependency and 19 special care cots.

Around 5,300 babies are born each year at The Royal Oldham Hospital.