Luton and Dunstable Hospital introduce new technology in neonatal unit

NICU nurse demonstrating headphones
NICU nurse demonstrating headphones

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital has rolled out the use of noise cancelling headphones in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as part of its plan to become a fully accredited Bliss Baby Charter Unit.

The headphones enable parents to spend more time with newborns while protecting patient confidentiality during medical ward rounds. Currently during ward rounds, only parents of the baby that the doctors are discussing can stay in the nursery. The new wireless headphones will block out background noise, allowing all parents to stay with their babies during ward rounds.

The introduction of the new headphones to NICU, a project led by Claire Adamson, Lead for Nursing Clinical Quality is one of the many steps the L&D are taking to further improve their approach to family-centred care.

Sarah, a mum of twins born at the L&D said: “They are a really good idea to facilitate staying with your baby whilst doctors are on the ward and confidential conversations are taking place.”

The Neonatal Unit at the hospital is one of only three units in the East of England who provide intensive care (level 3) for the most premature and sick newborn babies.

The L&D has three separate nurseries, one for intensive care, one for special care and one for high dependency.

NICU Clinical Director, Dr Jennifer Birch said: “We are committed to fully involving parents in the care of their baby on the NICU and to delivering truly family-centred neonatal care in order to improve parents’ experience at this very challenging time.

“We are aiming to become one of the few Bliss accredited hospitals, and the introduction of the new headphones to the NICU is a welcome step forward in that process.

“I’m extremely proud of the team who worked hard to raise money for the project, generating over £700 from a cake sale held for World Prematurity Day.

“It’s great to see that this small change has made such a positive impact and parents can now spend more time participating in the care of their baby.”