The Royal London Hospital Neonatal Community Outreach Team received a £300 grant from PEdSIG to help embed a Parental Teaching Programme on the neonatal unit. The initial idea was to run weekly teaching sessions for parents on the following topics:

We advertised the sessions through posters and walking around the unit to find parents just prior to the sessions. Unfortunately, attendance at the sessions was poor with no parents attending for some sessions ☹ (see above). The main barrier seemed to be a lack of parental presence on NICU at the time of the sessions. 

Despite feeling a bit disheartened, we continued to think about ways to provide more accessible education to our Neonatal Unit parents. Rather than continuing to run the weekly sessions, we decided to divert the grant funds towards more resources to go hand-in-hand with individual family education encounters. We bought Baby Friendly Initiative ‘Myth Busting’ Posters for the parents’ room on NICU. These posters provided simple messages for our parents to read in their own time and at their own speed. We bought ‘You and Your Baby: Supporting Love and Nurture on the Neonatal Unit’ leaflets to fit with the Neonatal Unit’s drive towards a more Family Integrated Approach to Neonatal Care. 

Our Neonatal Community Outreach Team nurses continued to engage parents in one-on-one education prior to discharge and during home visits. They found the Lullaby Trust safe sleeping leaflets were a particularly useful addition to spoken advice given during home visits. The Lullaby Trust co-sleeping cards were also purchased given the big community that co-sleep in the Tower Hamlets area that the NCOT team serves. 

In summary, our initial plans for a rolling group-teaching programme for parents on NICU at the Royal London weren’t successful. However, the grant has enabled us to enrich individual parent(s) education though additional written resources tailored for our niche local population. The focus on parental education continues through a survey investigating barriers to parental attendance and involvement in their baby’s care on NICU and on parental experience of education on developmental and family integrated care on NICU. 

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