Following a hugely successful fundraising campaign, the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital is delighted to open its newly-enhanced high dependency nursery for sick babies.
Work was carried out in early March to update and replace essential equipment and facilities within the unit, such as electrics and flooring. This was partly funded from the ‘Hippo Appeal’ last year, which raised £100,000, thanks to the generosity of supporters and the local community.
The upgraded nursery, which cares for up to eight babies at a time, was officially opened on Tuesday (19 May). Mayor of Medway, Cllr Barry Kemp, cut the ribbon, watched by guests, staff and supporters of the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust (OFSCBT), which led the fundraising campaign. Cllr Kemp said: “It is a huge privilege to be celebrating one of the real success stories of Medway. It is great to see the work of the dedicated staff who make such an impact on people’s lives.”
Dr Aung Soe, Specialty Lead for Children and Consultant Neonatologist, said: “Before the work was carried out, we were unable to accommodate our full capacity within the HDU. But now with new equipment and technology, we have a purpose-built, fully equipped, state of the art HDU. The money raised by the charity has allowed us to purchase up-to-date equipment and furnishing to provide the highest standard of care to the eight babies and their families.”
In total, the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit has36 cot spaces across four nurseries - Intensive Care, High Dependency, Special Care and Transitional Care – and looks after more than 1,000 sick and premature babies a year.
Dr Soe, also Chair of the OFSCBT added: “We would like to extend our gratitude to all the fundraisers that helped us achieve our goal, and would like to assure them that due to their continued support of the Trust, we are able to provide the best care we possibly can to our tiny, sick patients.”
The Oliver Fisher unit, which is 30 years old this year, cares for babies from 23 weeks gestation.
Chairman of the Medway NHS Foundation Trust Shena Winning said: “A huge thank you must go to the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust for raising the money for this refurbishment and supporting us in the development of a genuine, state of the art special care baby unit. The Oliver Fisher unit is a true exemplar in our organisation and I’d like to say thank you to all of the staff here for their commitment and hard work.”