In December 2012, the True Colours Trust funded a new grants programme through Bliss to help improve family facilities in neonatal units throughout the UK. A further grant of £200,000 was approved in October 2013 to extend the programme for a further two years.
The Bliss Baby Charter Grants Fund was launched in March 2013 to provide small grants of £1,000 and larger grants of £10,000 to neonatal units to help improve facilities for parents and families of premature and sick babies. Units applying to the Fund must have completed The Baby Charter Audit which is used by hospitals to assess key aspects of a neonatal unit’s support for the whole family, and to help staff make family-centred care a reality.
The Fund allows hospitals to purchase small items such as lockers, comfortable chairs and privacy screens, as well as funding the refurbishment of parent bedrooms, the creation of parent kitchens, and the opening of quiet rooms for sensitive discussions, which would often fall outside usual NHS budgets.
Neonatal units report that the Fund has had a positive impact on parents who have a baby in a neonatal unit. Improvements to units have helped increase breastfeeding, skin-to-skin care, and create a more comfortable and relaxed environment within the clinical hospital setting.