Hospitals in Leeds have become the first in the country to use video updates to connect parents with their newborns.
Parents of babies being cared for in the Neonatal Unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) are now able to view updates when they cannot be by their baby’s cot side.
The vCreate web-based application lets nurses record updates for parents.
Video workshops were laid on for the Family Integrated Care team.
These sessions gave parents keen to start receiving video updates of their baby’s progress an opportunity to sign up for their own account, ask questions and experience the service.
Dr Liz McKechnie, Consultant Neonatologist at LTHT, said: “Video messaging will provide a real confidence boost for parents.
“When they are not able to be in the unit, they can look at video updates and see all is well.
“It will also ensure that parents don’t miss out on special moments - they can feel like they are there in the moment.”
The initial bonding process between parents of premature babies and their child is especially important for the long-term health of the baby and for parents too.
This is one of the reasons that the Leeds Centre for Newborn Care at LTHT was the first in the UK to introduce Family Integrated Care, a model of care that recognises parents as partners in care.
This encourages parents to have more involvement in the day-to-day care of their own baby.
Charlotte, mother of baby Noah, has been going back and forth from hospital for the past six weeks.
She said: “With the video messaging, if you miss something, you’re kept informed.
“It’s a really simple yet effective way of staying connected.”