January 18, 2019 4.10 pm This story is over 32 months old

‘Transfer packs’ delivered to mums of premature babies forced to travel

It was made possible by campaigners and donations

A campaign group for children’s services in Boston have celebrated the delivery and use of new SOS Neonatal Transfer Packs, which aim to help families sent to other hospitals with premature or very sick babies.

SOS Pilgrim – Call to Action used £2,387 raised through a Christmas Raffle organised by campaigner Rachel Bray, to make the packs which contain various essentials and a few treats needed for new mothers and their children.

In December, the first 12 were delivered.

Alison Marriott, who leads the Call to Action group said: “The packs will make a huge difference to the families at such a difficult time.

“We wish they were not necessary and these babies could stay at the Pilgrim, but we hope that they will bring some comfort and practical support to the families affected.”

One of the packs delivered to the expectant mothers. Photo supplied.

The campaigners argue that to meet the populations needs the gestation age at Pilgrim’s neonatal unit needs to be restored to at least 30 weeks “as soon as possible”, and upgraded to a level 2 unit.

“But we are in this current situation and while we are campaigning for the services, we will also try to make a positive difference wherever we can,” said Alison.

The campaigners said that since Boston’s Children’s Ward became a paediatric assessment on August 6, more than 160 families have been transferred to other hospitals due to the 12 hour limit.

They include 37 transfers outside of the county due to no beds being available in Lincoln, and at least six pregnant women have been transferred away from Pilgrim prior to the birth of their babies, due to an increase in gestation limits.

The group has also purchased new fridge-freezers, microwaves, kettles, maternity nighties, baby bottles and bedside lamps for the unit and its staff room.

The hope is to do similar packs for the Children’s Assessment Unit too, however, the group says the numbers are “really high.”

Divisional Managing Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust, which runs Pilgrim Hospital, Ciara Moore, said: “We would like to thank the SOS Pilgrim campaigners for supporting us and families with the donation of the neonatal transfer packs.

“The packs have been very thoughtfully put together with a lot of care and attention.

“All the parents who have received one so far have been very appreciative of them. It is a simple act of kindness at a very difficult time.”

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