Wiltshire

Salisbury hospital family accommodation unit to open

Baby at a neonatal unit
Image caption The new £800,000 unit will offer accommodation for up to four families of premature babies

Work is almost complete on a new accommodation unit for parents of premature babies at Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire.

Once complete, the new unit will offer accommodation for up to four families, allowing parents to stay close to their premature or critically ill babies.

The £800,000 unit is being funded jointly by the hospital's Stars Appeal charity and the NHS Foundation Trust.

The new family accommodation unit is due to open in late 2012.

About 300 babies born at the hospital each year need to spend time on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before they are well enough to be taken home.

Salisbury District Hospital currently offers no overnight accommodation for parents travelling to the NICU unit from neighbouring counties.

The new family unit will offer en-suite bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, play room and educational facilities to teach parents treatment techniques.

Dave Cates, from the Stars Appeal, said: "We know that the more time that mums and dads and family spend with these premature and critically ill babies the quicker bonding is established, the quicker feeding is established," he said.

"Basically baby does better, there's better outcomes and they're able to return home sooner."

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