Neonatal Excellence Award Winners 2019

Nominate a healthcare professional, neonatal team, or project that has gone above and beyond to care for premature or sick babies in Bliss’ Neonatal Excellence Awards.

About the awards

The Neonatal Excellence Awards are part of the Bliss Baby Charter Conference held in September 2019.

They celebrate outstanding healthcare professionals that make a difference to babies and their families by delivering high quality family-centred care (ensuring parents are actively involved in their baby’s care) as part of the Bliss Baby Charter.

The WaterWipes Award for Team of the Year

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

Over the last five years, the neonatal team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital have made a huge drive to promote and encourage family-centred care, placing the baby firmly in the context of the family.

The team in Exeter have been working with parents, allied health professionals and nursing and medical teams to enable the team to provide a service which suits the needs of families on the unit. Families are welcome to stay next to their baby at all times of the day, by the availability of camp beds for every cot space, as well as single bed rooms and options for rooming in, with the intention of keeping families together.

The team have also given careful consideration to the environment, with various strategies in place to keep noise and light to a minimum to enhance the calming effect on the unit. A ‘retreat room’ has been introduced for families which has different modes of mood lighting and optional aromatherapy for mothers who wish to express away from the cot side.

This award has been sponsored by WaterWipes.

Parents' Choice Award 

Joyce Presland - The Lister Hospital

Parents nominated Joyce for her invaluable support in providing family-centred care and building their confidence in the care of their baby.

Joyce has demonstrated outstanding support and guidance to parents and families by providing support and care to both the baby and the family. Joyce kept an open line of communication with the family to help support their mental health and anxiety around having a baby on the neonatal unit.

The parent says that they felt Joyce supported them with goals and milestones throughout their journey.

This award has been sponsored by holidaycottages.co.uk.

Project of the Year

Glangwili General Hospital

The team identified that babies discharged from the neonatal unit often need contact with a variety of different health professionals. These different contacts can be stressful for families as multiple hospital appointments are associated with financial implications due to travel, accommodation and food.

The team decided to offer a multidisciplinary "one stop shop" appointment with the neonatal dietitian, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech and language therapist supported by the neonatal outreach nurse. The team assess families’ abilities to attend appointments, then the team travel together to see the family in the home. This initiative has been universal to all families on the unit allowing them to access the expertise of the therapy team. Due to these changes, families feel more confident in supporting their babies and are more likely to return for further follow up appointments, which has a positive impact on the child’s developmental outcome.

This award has been sponsored by Medela.

Lifetime achievement award

Professor Neil Marlow

Within his role as Professor of Neonatal Medicine at UCLH, Neil has had a career-long focus to understand the main challenges and neuropsychological outcomes of extremely preterm infants.

He has gone on to lead the renowned EPICure studies, which have provided a wealth of data on the survival and long term outcomes survival of extremely preterm children. Neil was appointed Professor of Neonatal Medicine at UCL in September 2008, having held the chair of Neonatal Medicine in Nottingham since 1997.

As well as world-leading research, Neil has demonstrated strong national leadership and dedication to campaigning and championing the rights of preterm infants by sitting as chair of the NHS England Clinical Reference Group for Neonatal Critical Care, Chair of the Neonatal Critical Care Transformation Review and a member of the executive board of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants.

This award is sponsored by Vitabiotics Pregnacare.