Charles Wolfson Ward at The Rosie Hospital, designed by LSI, was formally opened on the 22nd April.

Vulnerable babies having a difficult start in life, and their parents, can now receive the extra care they need in the new unit, designed by LSI and formally opened at the Rosie on the 22nd April.  The Hon. Andrew and Mrs Orly Wolfson of the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust ceremoniously cut the ribbon on the new ward, which was made possible thanks to £296,000 raised by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT).

Around 600 babies born at the Rosie each year are premature or experience other complications and need extra medical and nursing care, sometimes for weeks.  Amanda Cahn, Associate Director of Operations for Children’s Services, explains how the Charles Wolfson Ward will help at this difficult time.

“Mums and dads need to bond with their new babies but that can be difficult when they’re surrounded by monitors, drips, feeding pipes and other daunting equipment.  Also, once their babies are finally well enough to go home this can cause anxiety for both parents.

“On the new Charles Wolfson Ward, staff will be able to support the natural process of bonding that is so important in the early days of life. Parents will have the time to get used to looking after their babies, particularly if they need to use equipment at home, comforted by knowing that specialist staff are on hand should they need them”.

Some ill babies who unfortunately have to return to hospital via the Emergency Department after discharge will also benefit from the ward.  Previously, they would have been admitted to a general paediatric ward which might include children of all ages, including teenagers, with a whole range of medical problems.  It can be uncomfortable and cramped for mothers to stay with their babies. This new ward will be completely dedicated to newborn and young babies, reducing the need to mix age groups.

Barbara Moretti was one of the first mothers to stay on the Charles Wolfson Ward after giving birth to twins Mia and Alessia who weighed only 2.21 and 2.06 kg respectively.  She said: “The opportunity for mums, like me, who have just given birth but haven’t had chance to bond properly with their babies is something really special.  My twins and I were on the Charles Wolfson Ward for 10 days and the experience was fantastic.  The staff are more than lovely and helpful; they don’t only look after your child but they support you in every way, especially emotionally.  I can’t thank the team enough”.

Susanne Owers, ACT’s Director of Fundraising, said: “ACT is delighted to be making a difference for new families.  It is wonderful to see the new comfortable, calm environment where parents can build their confidence and help their babies thrive.”

The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust donated £275,000 toward the ward and generous gifts were received from the John Coates Charitable Trust and kind-hearted individuals.

Families staying in the unit can now benefit from an extensive range of equipment, such as breast pumps, seating for nursing mothers and phototherapy units for jaundice to help in the smooth day-to-day care of young babies.

A team of neonatologists, paediatricians and specialist nurses can now more easily provide clinical care, and links have been strengthened with a range of visiting health professionals, including breastfeeding specialists, speech and language therapists and nursery nurses.

Jordan Armstrong, Architectural Technologist at LSI, said “The redesign and refurbishment of the Charles Wolfson ward is one of a number of LSI projects at the Rosie Hospital. The new ward will allow the hospital to provide extra care for babies who have to return to hospital, and also provides facilities for parents to stay with their child, which is not always an option at paediatric units.”