A festive delivery has been received for new arrivals at Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

There was claus for excitement when knitters donated these yuletide themed hats to the Trust’s Maternity Unit to ensure our 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 their 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 Trust’s 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 Joseph’s and Noel’s, but I don’t think I have yet had a Holly.”

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 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.

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 the Special Care Baby Unit by 16 per cent.

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

Jacqui Tingle, Deputy Director of Midwifery, said: “Our dedicated and creative army of knitters have really outdone themselves with their latest creations that 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.”

©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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