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Warm Woolly Hats Are A Special Delivery For Hospital’s Newborn Babies This Christmas

Published on: 23 Dec, 2017
Updated on: 23 Dec, 2017

A special festive delivery of woolly hats has been received for new arrivals at Guildford’s Royal Surrey County Hospital.

Royal Surrey midwife Sally Stainer with some newborns wearing special Christmas woolly hats.

There was “claus” for excitement when knitters donated yuletide themed hats to the hospital’s maternity unit to ensure its newborns receive an extra-special gift.

Four of Santa’s little helpers were joined by Royal Surrey midwife Sally Stainer who instead of tucking into turkey on Christmas Day will be helping to welcome new arrivals into the world.

Last year the team helped four parents receive the ultimate Christmas gift, with two boys and two girls making their grand entrance on December 25.

Sally, who has worked at the hospital for 14 years and leads the midwife-led unit, said: “I have worked on Christmas Day a number of times over the years and it is always a really lovely time.

“No matter how hard it is being away from your family, it is always really special to be here and there really is a fantastic atmosphere.

“Over the years I have delivered my fair share of Josephs and Noels, but I don’t think I have yet had a Holly.”

“This lovely woolly hat is making me sleepy!”

As well as helping to get everyone into the festive spirit, the Christmas hats also have a very important purpose and are part of the hospital’s celebrated bobble hat care bundle.

Midwife Claire Worthington and advanced neonatal nurse practitioner Jo Macleod created the initiative after discovering that full-term babies were being admitted to the special care baby unit as a result of becoming cold, despite a warm ward environment.

It sees each newborn given a colour-coded woolly hat to wear straight after birth, which not only keeps them warm, but also assists midwives in making sure new mothers receive the appropriate level of support.

For example, normally a baby would receive a red hat if they are born prematurely, amber is for those who have endured a difficult labour and green for those deemed low risk.

In the last financial year, all of the 2,973 babies welcomed at the Royal Surrey received a knitted hat and this cut the number of admissions to the special care baby unit by 16%.

The hats have a really important purpose and ensure more mothers and babies are kept together during their stay at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

As well as having been adopted by other NHS trusts, the bobble hat initiative was a finalist in this year’s Nursing Times Award.

Deputy director of midwifery Jacqui Tingle said: “Our dedicated and creative army of knitters’ latest creations will ensure that a happy Christmas is had by all in our maternity unit.

“Welcoming a child into the world is always a precious gift at any time of the year, but it is even more magical when there is a wonderful festive buzz in the air.

“These hats also have a really important purpose and will ensure that more mothers and babies are kept together this Christmas.”

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