Rainbow Trust neonatal care
With an increased number of families now caring for a seriously ill baby, Rainbow Trust Children's Charity is responding by providing vital emotional and practical support for these families
Rainbow Trust Children's Charity is an organisation that supports families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. It employs Family Support Workers who work with individual families offering tailor-made emotional and practical support. Families can be referred for support by anyone, provided it is with the knowledge and consent of the family.
Medical advances now mean an increasing number of babies are surviving longer with much more complex needs. Rainbow Trust developed its specialist Neonatal Family Support in 2014 in response to research conducted by the University of Leeds in 2012 that highlighted the number of newborn babies that may require palliative care. In the past year, 33% of all Rainbow Trust's referrals were for children under one year's old which is really striking. The charity is keen to develop its neonatal service further in the future, when funds in the current tough financial climate allow.
Rainbow Trust's Neonatal Support workers provide essential additional support to families to help them cope as they navigate a frightening start for their new baby. They work alongside staff on neonatal intensive care units in London, Southampton and the North West to offer additional support while babies are sick. They are not based on the unit, which means that they remain independent of the unit's multi-disciplinary team – something that has been favourably commented on by parents who welcome a slightly more independent source of support. ‘It is well documented that admission of the newborn to the neonatal unit has a significant impact on the family with many negative effects’ (Bystrova, 2009).
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