Video app puts parents of premature babies at ease

Date: 01 June 2020

NICU App for web final

Parents of ill and premature babies at Medway NHS Foundation Trust have been receiving extra support throughout the COVID-19 outbreak courtesy of a new video messaging app.

The NHS approved service, called vCreate, sends parents notifications and allows them to access videos and photos of their child taken by staff at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Medway Maritime Hospital.

The smartphone app has become increasingly relied on by parents across Medway and Swale since the COVID-19 outbreak, and is helping ease their fears when they cannot be by their child’s side at the unit in Gillingham.

One new mother, Mille Mortley, from Grain, says the app is helping to ‘’reduce anxiety’’ while also allowing her family to keep up to date with the developments of her child, Phoenix, who has been in hospital since March after he was born at just 25 weeks old. Millie said:

 ‘’The app has been very valuable – it’s really comforting and has helped us see our son without actually being there at the hospital. We are extremely grateful and enjoy watching the videos and other updates the nurses send us.’’

Dr Ghada Ramadan, Speciality Lead for Neonatal Services at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We know that it can be extremely worrying for parents and families when their premature or sick baby is being cared for in the NICU at Medway, particularly since the COVID-19 outbreak.

‘’Although this has meant that access to the hospital has been limited, we hope the successful rollout of the innovative vCreate service is helping to reassure parents and allowing them to be more involved in the care of their baby.’’

Anna Francis, NICU Matron at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said:

 ‘’We have had lots of positive feedback about the app from parents - receiving the videos and pictures can be a real boost as they can share them with their wider family and friends to keep everyone updated about the progress of their baby.

‘’The staff enjoy using vCreate, as the clips are very easy to record and send, and they know they are making a real difference to the families experience and supporting them on their NICU journey.’’

  • Summary:

    Parents of ill and premature babies at Medway NHS Foundation Trust have been receiving extra support throughout the COVID-19 outbreak courtesy of a new video messaging app.