Health Minister visits Neonatal Unit at Antrim Area Hospital

The Health Minister, Jim Wells MLA, has visited the Neonatal Unit in Antrim Area Hospital ahead of the new build opening in early 2015.

Health Minister, Jim Wells said: “I was delighted to visit Antrim Hospital to see the progress in expanding the Neonatal Unit. My Department attaches high priority to ensuring that the HSC provides safe, quality and sustainable service provision in our maternity services. These are essential to delivering the best outcomes for mother, baby and the family. This expanded unit will be welcomed by staff in the hospital and all expectant parents who will use the service.”

The newly refurbished and extended Neonatal Unit is nearing completion and will provide 16 cots, with increased space around each cot. It will increase the space by around 130 square metres and is designed to benefit from natural daylight and acoustic control.

Marie Roulston, Director of Children’s Services said: “The new unit will provide a modern, fit for purpose unit that is responsive to the needs of the service. It will support the existing and adjacent labour ward and maternity services, contributing to the promotion of high quality care and improvements to the environment in which infants are cared for”.

“This investment in the unit will also enable us to use our highly trained staff and specialist equipment to full potential”.

Janet Lambrechts, Ward Sister, Neonatal Unit, said: “The extension will provide Trust staff with the additional space they need around the cots to ensure that very ill babies receive the highest quality of care possible while further reducing the risk of transmission of infection.

The unit will also provide increased accessibility and privacy for parents and an improved parent and family experience while their baby is being cared for in the unit”.

A modern neonatal unit requires an extensive range of bulky equipment which must be stored within the clinical area, in a state of readiness, for immediate use. This extension will mean that there will be appropriate storage area for these items also.

The Neonatal Unit is part of the regional Neonatal Network and works closely with the Combined Neonatal Intensive Care and Special Care Baby Unit based at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast.

Dr Jenny Hughes, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive, Staff Nurse Suzie Forbes, Staff Nurse Colleen McGarry, Ward Manager Janet Lambrechts, Nicola Stewart, William Stewart, Zoe Stewart (baby), Health Minister Jim Wells, Clinical Sister Elizabeth Osborne, Dr Conor O'Neill, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Lynne McFetridge, Consultant Paediatrician, Brenda McConville, Assitsant Director Paediatrics, Dr Dave Watkins, Consultant Paediatrician.

Page last updated:12 December 2014