THE neonatal unit at Glangwili General Hospital has been recognised with a national award.

The unit picked up the Project of the Year - Neonatal Excellence Award from Bliss, the UK's leading charity for babies born premature or sick.

Bliss awarded Glangwili in relation to their successful Neonatal Therapy programme.

The programme aims to reduce the number of neonatal follow-up appointments that families attend.

Babies who were born at a low birth rate usually have to attend multiple appointments with various medical specialists both before and after discharge.

It was identified by the team at Glangwili that the number of appointments can cause families additional stress ahead of leaving the neonatal unit as well as having financial implications after going home.

The neonatal team at Glangwili therefore decided to introduce drop-in sessions and posters on the neonatal unit to help explain the roles of different specialists and the benefits of attending these appointments. Post-discharge, appointments were refined so that the neonatal dietitian, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech and language therapist could all been seen at once. .

As a result of the changes, attendance rates at appointments have increased and parent satisfaction with the care of their child has improved.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies and Health Science for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “I am delighted that the team has won the Bliss Project of the Year Award.

“The award recognises the team’s dedication to improving the experience of parents and families during what can be a stressful time.

“The team has worked across professional boundaries to provide a seamless service and thoroughly deserves the recognition received.”

Justin Irwin, Chief Executive at Bliss said: “Our Neonatal Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding individuals, teams and projects that make a real difference to babies born premature or sick through delivering high quality care. All winners of the Neonatal Excellence Awards are signed up to the Bliss Baby Charter.

"More than 175 units across the country are using the Bliss Baby Charter to develop meaningful improvements to care that benefit babies and their families.

“We are tremendously pleased to present the Project of the Year Award to Glangwili General Hospital in recognition of their excellent work. Their streamlining of follow-up appointments will have a positive impact on so many babies’ developmental outcomes.”

The Bliss Neonatal Excellence Awards were held in Lincoln on 26 September.