New fund launched to support parents of premature babies

Premature baby web

The Scottish Government has allocated £1.5 million to help parents with the cost of attending neo-natal units

22nd December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Parents who have premature babies that require hospital care are to be given extra financial support.

The Scottish Government is introducing a new £1.5 million family fund to help with additional costs such as travel to the hospital and food and drink.

Charities have been campaigning for additional support to be given to those who need to travel to neo-natal units, with the extra cost to parents during often lengthy hospital stays for their babies estimated at more than £200 per week.

Health secretary Shona Robison announced this week that the fund will be made available from 1 April next year.

She said: "It will be done very easily and very smoothly through the neonatal units that the parents are attending.

"We want to make it as simple and as straightforward as possible so that parents are not out of pocket for the daily essentials of getting to and from the hospital where their baby is, and also for things like food and drink.

"So this will make a big difference in helping parents at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives."

Last month, charity Bliss Scotland called for greater support to be provided for parents who have babies in neo-natal units, with the organisation highlighting the cost of having a premature baby.

Caroline Lee-Davey, chief executive of Bliss Scotland, said: “Premature and sick babies in neonatal care need their parents to be with them as much as possible to support their care and recovery. Yet many families simply can’t afford to be with their baby because of the high costs of travel, accommodation and food.

“Across hospitals in Scotland, a lack of facilities, accommodation and financial support is keeping parents from being with their babies when they need them most.”