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Cots Donated To Support Premature Babies At Christchurch Hospital

20 newborn cots have been donated to help the Christchurch Women’s Hospital cope with increasing demand in its neonatal intensive care unit.

Local charity, the Rapid Relief Team (RRT), provided the much-needed cots to the unit, which has reported a significant increase in babies requiring care.

The growth in the number of babies requiring specialised care led to bed shortages, placing immense pressure on hospital resources and staff.

Rapid Relief Team New Zealand General Manager, Paul Simmons, said RRT volunteers were shocked to hear of the bed shortages so jumped into action to assist.

“The shortage of neonatal ICU beds mean that vulnerable babies are in less than ideal cots for the delivery of care. We have also heard reports of cramped clinical rooms and lack of privacy amongst the patients,” Paul said.

“We know how challenging this time is for parents and equally the healthcare staff, so we are pleased to donate these specialised cots to help relieve some pressure faced and provide more user and baby friendly cots,” Paul continued.

The neonatal unit cares for infants born prematurely, or with surgical, congenital and medical complications.

Christchurch Women’s Hospital Neonatal Nurse Manager, Debbie O’Donoghue, said the extra cots will be a great help to families and staff.

“Towards the end of a baby’s neonatal journey once medically stable, babies are able to graduate into a cot. These new specialised cots donated by RRT will be of great benefit to the neonatal service. Unlike our previous traditional cots, they are height adjustable. These new cots allow for care to be delivered to meet the comfort and safety for both parents and staff alike. This improves the working environment for staff and improves accessibility and comfort for parents when caring for their babies in NICU,” Debbie said.

In 2021, RRT donated five specialised cots to Starship Children’s Hospital after responding to a mother’s plea for support. This donation was well received, with Dawn Tucker, Nurse Unit Manager of Starship Children’s Hospital sharing:

“Thank you so much for your kind donation, the cots were checked and out in use within the hour. Your timing could not have been better.”

After seeing the powerful impact these cots made to the Starship Children’s Hospital, RRT was compelled to do more.

“We knew there was a desperate need for further support so we reached out to the Canterbury DHB to offer further assistance which is why we’re here today, gifting 20 cots to the Christchurch Women’s Hospital’s neonatal ICU,” Paul said.

This donation was made possible by RRT thanks to the valued support of the National Assistance Fund (NAF).

About the Rapid Relief Team (RRT)

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established the RRT in 2013 to express the Church’s principles of care and compassion. The RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies.

Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.

© Scoop Media

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