Thanks to donations, over £45,000 has been provided to purchase a transport incubator for the Neonatal Unit at St James’s University Hospital (SJUH).

All children’s services in Leeds are now under one roof at Leeds Children’s Hospital, located within Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). However, maternity services are still provided at SJUH, and so staff within the Neonatal Unit provide services across both sites to care for babies born sick or premature.

Before we funded this specialist equipment, arrangements had to be made for one of the two transport incubators at the Neonatal Unit of the LGI to be sent over to SJUH to transport babies to receive urgent specialist care. This arrangement not only incurred costs but also caused several difficulties. For example, the transportation of the incubator between sites could only be arranged in working hours and both incubators at the LGI could already in use.

Transport Incubator on the Neonatal Unit

The provision of a transport incubator is improving patient safety and clinical outcomes in babies, by ensuring the safe and rapid transport of babies who require medical support between locations. It enables sick or premature babies to be transported to their mothers if their mother is too unwell to visit the Neonatal Unit, improving the service provided by the Hospitals to new mothers.

From a training and safety point of view, having the same incubator system across both hospitals builds resilience into the system. Staff who rotate across the service are familiar with the transport incubator and its equipment.

Dr Cath Harrison, Consultant Neonatologist on the Unit said: “We’re so grateful to Leeds Hospitals Charity for funding this vital piece of kit which means we can provide the highest quality of care across both sites and even during transportation.The state-of-the-art incubator allows us to continue intensive care for very ill babies who require time critical treatment at the LGI before and during their journey there. We can now also provide better support to Mums with complex medical conditions who need to deliver their babies in a specific theatre at SJUH that may not be near the Neonatal Unit.”