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Sara and Chelsie

St Peter's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit held a ceremony on Thursday 19 December, 2019 in which they were presented with a plaque and certificate to mark having received Baby Charter Accreditation from the UK’s leading premature and sick baby charity, Bliss.

On 15 November, St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey became the sixth hospital in England to receive Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. St. Peter’s received the highest score of any neonatal unit to be assessed by Bliss for the award.

The accreditation recognises neonatal units that deliver the highest quality of care to babies and support for their families. It was developed by Bliss to help hospitals caring for premature and sick babies to assess the care they provide and identify areas for improvement. Through the accreditation process, Bliss recognises and rewards excellence in the care delivered by neonatal units all the while supporting units to improve their practice.

The assessment by Bliss found that St Peter’s excelled at providing support for families through a multi-disciplinary team which includes a family support coordinator, chaplain, breastfeeding lead, safeguarding lead and interpreter, and continues supporting families long after discharge through the Neonatal Outreach Team. The unit’s spacious, well-equipped accommodation also enables parents to stay close to their baby. Bliss highlighted the supportive staff culture which includes Good News Fridays as a way of maintaining high morale.

Dr. Peter Reynolds, Consultant Neonatologist and Specialty Lead at St Peter’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) said: “We are delighted that, after many months of hard work and a demanding assessment, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation.

“Working towards the assessment has helped us to examine every step that families face when their baby requires neonatal care, and has helped us embed novel practices such as the ‘Birthday Cuddle’ (ensuring a parent can hold their baby after birth for five minutes once they are stable) into our practice.

“The awarding of this Charter provides robust evidence that the neonatal care we give to babies and families is of the very highest quality, and the team at St. Peter’s Hospital is immensely proud of this achievement.”

Justin Irwin, Chief Executive at Bliss, said: "The fantastic work of the staff on St Peter’s neonatal unit and its excellent facilities are already making a vital contribution to the health of vulnerable babies and the wellbeing of their families.

“We were delighted to award St Peter’s the highest score ever earned as part of the Baby Bliss Charter accreditation process. We hope this award will inspire other neonatal units to follow their brilliant example in how they support babies, families and staff so that more babies across the country have the best chance of survival and quality of life”.


Pictured above L-R: Sara Robertson, Clinical Nurse Leader at St Peter’s and Chelsie Letts, Bliss Baby Charter Programme Leader


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