Boo-tiful babies bring the Halloween spirit to Royal Surrey

Knitters are making sure babies at Royal Surrey County Hospital look boo-tiful this Halloween.

These spooktacular hats have been donated to the Maternity Unit to make sure our newborns first Halloween is all treat and no trick.

As well as being hair-raising, the hats also have a very important purpose and are part of the Trust’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.

However, for Halloween the team will be forgoing the colour coding system to handout devilishly good bobble hats.

In the last financial year, all of the 2,973 babies welcomed at Royal Surrey received a knitted hat and this cut the number of admissions to SCBU by 16 per cent.

As well as having adopted by other NHS trust, the bobble hat initiative has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award, with the result announced next month.

Jacqui Tingle, Deputy Director of Midwifery, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated and creative army of regular knitters who ensure we have a ready supply of hats.

“These spooktacular editions will be very popular with our new parents and their little pumpkins on October 31.

“This initiative also has a very important purpose and is just one example of how the maternity team strives to achieve the best care and outcomes for all our patients.”

©2017 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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