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Special Care Baby Unit house opens

23rd November 2011

Parents of babies who are patients in Raigmore Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) now have access to a two-bedroom house on the Inverness hospital site, allowing parents to be close to the hospital whilst their newborn baby is in the unit.

Previously mothers were kept in a hospital bed and often the father could not be accommodated.

The house, which will be used exclusively by SCBU, can accommodate two couples at the one time, has one double bedroom and one twin bedroom with a large shared shower room/toilet. It also has a fully equipped kitchen and large lounge.

Kay Yeldham, Clinical Lead for SCBU, explains that the house will be the first port of call for any parent requiring accommodation while their child is in the unit, and for the first time a father may be accommodated free of charge (funded by SCBU) as well as the mother.

She said: "Accommodation has normally been provided in Kyle Court, which is the Patient Lodge based within the grounds of the hospital. However we have recently refurbished one of the houses owned by NHS Highland on the Raigmore site and it has already been used by mothers whose babies were in the unit.

"Feedback has been very good. Mothers using the house while their baby is a patient have commented on the extra space as well as the companionship they have. By sharing a house with someone in a similar situation to them it also gives them the opportunity to talk through their worries with someone or just simply have a chat with someone who knows what they are going through."

The refurbishment of the house was paid for out of SCBU's endowments fund which relies on donations made to the unit. As well as a full revamp it has also been fully furnished and has everything you need.

Karen Underwood, Hotel Services Manager for Raigmore Hospital is delighted the house is being used in this way.

She said: "We spotted a potential improvement for the accommodation that we provided for mothers with babies in SCBU who were staying in the Patient Lodge. The Patient Lodge was exceptionally busy during last summer and as a favour, we asked two of the mums staying with us if they would mind sharing a house.

"The feedback was excellent and between the Raigmore Accommodation Department and SCBU, it was agreed that the house should be refurbished and used for this purpose permanently. I am pleased to see that it is continuing to work well."

The house is open to all residents from Highland or the Western Isles who would otherwise have difficulty visiting the unit due to distance. For further information please speak to staff in the Special Care Baby Unit.


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