"Amazing life-saving care by compassionate and..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

What I liked

From the moment we entered the neonatal unit at St Thomas' after our baby was born at 23+6 weeks and a meagre 630 grams we were bowled over by the compassion and professionalism of the consultants, doctors and nurses. My baby's life was saved again and again by the skill of the unit staff and the paediatric surgeons and my partner and I were supported in every way throughout our four and a half months there.

We were kept constantly informed of our baby's condition and were able to discuss this with the consultants daily. All knew all about our baby so we could discuss concerns with any of the team. At a time of crisis (either my own or my baby's!) they were readily available to talk to. They were very hands on with her care.

The nurses were so professional and knowledgeable and really helped us be parents, even when our daughter was very tiny and in an incubator. I went home every night knowing that my baby was in the safest place she could be and would be extremely well cared for. They would happily update us any hour of the day or night. I feel they looked after my partner and me as much as our baby.

Nurses and doctors always listened to us and respected our views and took seriously and investigated concerns such as 'she just doesn't seem herself'. When I was a difficult parent everyone understood the emotional stress I was under.

Except for one incident (which was investigated even though no harm was caused) the whole team seemed to know everything about my baby. The communication between all the staff is excellent. I also thought that the nurses and doctors were brilliant at talking to parents and explaining complex problems and clinical decisions. I felt part of all those decisions.

What could be improved

Nothing - all the unit staff have got it right, from the clinical care to the cleaning. Nurses and doctors constantly sought parents' views about what could be improved.

Anything else?

Nobody would 'choose' a unit for what happened to me and my baby but I am grateful every day that St Thomas' is my local hospital.

Friends would say that it must be terrible leaving my baby in hospital every night and going home but it was made much easier knowing how well she would be cared for.

The staff are truly dedicated and show that it possible to be incredibly caring and clinically brilliant at the same time.

It is a reflection on how great the unit is that despite being delighted to be going home, I felt very sad and emotional to be leaving there as they were such an important part of our early family life. Not only did I take home the most precious gift, but the staff held my head about the water in the difficult times and allowed me to enjoy being a mum while there.

Story from NHS Choices

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