North East Wales

Sick babies trial Ysbyty Glan Clwyd's new neonatal ICU kit

Leanne Hughes and her baby Jude try out new equipment
Image caption Leanne Hughes and her baby Jude have been trying out new equipment

Seriously ill babies and their parents have been testing specialist equipment for a new neonatal intensive care centre in Denbighshire.

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd's new £18m unit in Bodelwyddan is still being built but equipment like incubators have arrived on site.

The health board said it wanted all new equipment to be approved by people whose babies have trialled them.

The unit is due to open in spring 2018.

Nine neonatal nurses and five consultant neonatologists have already been appointed for the sub-regional neonatal intensive care centre (SuRNICC),

More jobs will be advertised soon, Betsi Cadwaladr health board said.

Image caption Baby Jude, who was born 16 weeks prematurely, has taken part in the trial

The health board's neonatal services manager Mandy Cooke said: "The whole purpose of the exercise is to test drive the new equipment and ensure everything which goes into the new unit has been approved by people who have a lived experience of a loved one staying on the unit.

"It includes specialist equipment like incubators, but also seemingly simple things like the chairs or bathroom suite which families will use.

"We need to know, for example, whether chairs are comfortable for mothers to use when they're recovering from Caesarean section operations."

There are also plans to consult families on decisions like the colour scheme for the unit.

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