Help us bring families closer to care for their premature or sick babies

Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity's Closer to Care campaign will transform care for premature or sick babies being treated at Royal Surrey County Hospital. By giving parents the opportunity to stay by their child’s side at any time day or night we hope to bring them closer to their care, giving newborns the very best start in life.

Being away from Edward is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…I was on a postnatal bay with lots of other mums who all had their babies with them and it was very upsetting and very isolating – to hear another baby crying at night and to not be able to hold or be near my own little baby…that was heartbreaking.” 

Sarah, whose son Edward spent 10 days in our Special Care Baby Unit following his birth in March. Read her story.

Why we're fundraising

As is the case with many neonatal units around the country, parents with babies being treated at Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) cannot currently stay overnight with their babies, due to limited space. This separation can be extremely distressing for both the baby and parents. 

We want to change this.

Giving families the option to stay with their babies at any time offers them the opportunity to be much more involved in their babies’ care, which has been proven to be hugely beneficial for both baby and parent. Benefits include*:

  • Improved long-term health outcomes
  • Enhanced bonding
  • Increased parental confidence
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced hospital stays
  • Increased breastfeeding rates
To have been able to stay with him overnight would have made a huge difference. It is an awful feeling knowing your new baby is on their own; it’s heartbreaking.”

Phoebe’s son Freddie spent six days in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit after medical staff found a hole on his lung.

What we're fundraising for

To make this possible, we need to raise £500,000 to redevelop the hospital’s SCBU. Working in partnership with Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, the innovative project will provide the space and resources needed for parents to be able to stay overnight, next to their babies’ cot. This will mean parents can be by their side and can help care for their baby at any time, day or night.

As well as providing overnight accommodation, the redeveloped unit will include a family room, which will offer much-needed privacy for families receiving sensitive news, and a separate space for siblings to play with toys and visitors to gather and spend time together.

I urge people to get behind the Closer to Care campaign for one simple reason – a newborn baby should always be with its parents, and parents should always be with their newborn baby.

Rob's daughter Sienna was born five weeks premature and spent eight days in Royal Surrey's SCBU.

How can I support?

We rely solely on the generosity of our incredible supporters to achieve our work transforming patients' lives. Please, make a donation today and give vulnerable newborns the very best start in life.

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You can also support the campaign by raising awareness on social media using #closertocare or by fundraising for the project. Set up your fundraising page here.

* Bliss