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Patient Voices: Caring for vulnerable babies: the reorganisation of neonatal services in England

Caring for vulnerable babies: the reorganisation of neonatal services in England

These stories are a collaborative project between the National Audit Office and Pilgrim Projects, created to accompany the NAO report: Caring for vulnerable babies: the reorganisation of neonatal services in England.

Full of beans
Sam is initially told that she isn’t in labour, but baby Harry is born several hours later, several weeks early. As Sam is recovering from the shock of this birth, the consultant cautions her about the likelihood of further premature births…

Thank you very much
No-one is prepared for Evie’s arrival, least of all the hospital. Eventually an incubator is found and gives Evie a good start in life – just in time for her heart operation. An overdose delays her recovery but she is now the apple of her parents’ eyes, and her grin belies her introduction to the world.

I am very lucky
Despite the shock of Orlando’s early birth, Michelle is expected to get on with things like breastfeeding – which can be incredibly difficult when you are recovering from a traumatic birth and attempting to feed a very premature baby.

The third time…
Despite having had two premature babies, nobody paid attention when Clare expressed concerns that her third child might also be born early. Even after Kaitlyn was born at 30 weeks, Clare’s concerns continue to go unheard and it is some time before she even feels able to touch her tiny baby.

Two for the price of one
Sharon is expecting twins, but she isn’t expecting them to be quite so early. 14 weeks in hospital and fantastic medical care have resulted in two healthy and happy little girls.

A fighter from the start
It took Jane more than 20 years to have a baby. Luke has clearly inherited his mother’s determination and, despite being born so early, he fights for life, and manages to survive operations and overdoses to become a robust little boy!

When the clock stopped
Giving birth prematurely can be a traumatic experience. Carol was very ill when her second daughter was born at 28 weeks and it was several days before she was able to see and hold her child. The effects on her family and her older daughter were enormous.

Nothing but the baby in my tummy
When Paula comes to England from Portugal in search of a better life, nothing prepares her for a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, or for the birth of a premature baby. With the help of the medical profession, and the interpreters, mother and baby have both survived.

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