Highlighting the important care for babies who are born premature and spend time in the neonatal unit, the Western Health and Social Care Trust Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Department organised a ‘Supporting babies who are born premature’ event. The event was that was held in the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital, Omagh recently was aimed at staff who support pre-term babies and their families in the Western Trust area.

Kevin Duffy, the Western Trust’s Chair of The Best Start in Life Steering group and Assistant Director in the Women and Children’s Directorate said: “If a baby begins life in the neo-natal intensive care unit, it can be a very worrying time for parents.”

“This event highlights the evidence which indicates how parents can support their baby’s development through their presence and loving connection which is the foundation to infant mental health in those early weeks of life,” Mr. Duffy added.

Noting that when a baby is born early and spends time in the neonatal ward there are many interventions and specialist support provided to those babies to give them the best start in life, Debbie Hunter, Health Improvement Officer, Equality and Involvement Department at the Trust added: “This event is a useful way to network and share good practice between Directorates to ensure neonatal babies and their families are supported and nurtured in our hospital settings.”