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Tunbridge Wells Hospital has become the fifth hospital in England to receive a prestigious award for its neonatal unit from the UK’s leading premature and sick baby charity Bliss.

At a ceremony held on the unit on Wednesday 30 October, Bliss Baby Charter Project Lead Chelsie Letts presented staff with a plaque and certificate marking their achievement.

The Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation awards neonatal units that deliver high quality care to babies and support for their families. The Bliss Baby Charter was developed by Bliss to help hospitals caring for premature and sick babies to assess the care they provide and identify areas for improvement.

Throughout the accreditation process, Bliss recognises and rewards excellence in the care delivered by neonatal units all the while supporting units to improve their practice.

Neonatal Specialist Matron Julia Moat said: “The Neonatal Unit team at Tunbridge Wells Hospital is extremely proud of the fact we have been awarded the Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation – making us the fifth neonatal unit nationally to receive the award.

“It is a huge achievement and acknowledges the hard work of the staff to ensure we always provide individualised family-centred care of the highest standard to the parents of extremely sick or premature babies who are admitted to the Neonatal Unit for specialist treatment, no matter how long or short their stay may be.

”We started working in earnest on the Baby Charter Standards towards Bliss Accreditation in 2015 so it has been a long journey but one that has been extremely worthwhile in order to get us to where we are today.

“Being able to display the Bliss Accreditation plaque on the Neonatal Unit sends a clear message to the families we work with on a daily basis that we recognise that every baby is special and that we respect the rights and dignity of each and every one of them whilst they are in our care.”

Justin Irwin, Chief Executive at Bliss, said: “I am delighted that Bliss are able to formally recognise the ongoing commitment of staff at Tunbridge Wells Hospital to putting babies and their families at the heart of everything they do.

“Tunbridge Wells’ family-centred approach to the care of vulnerable babies has won them the Bliss Baby Charter Accreditation – making them one of only five units in the whole country to receive this prestigious award.

“The work of staff here is making a vital difference to the lives of the babies they care for every single day. They are an example of excellence and this award is well deserved.”