North East charity Tiny Lives has funded the development and production of a bespoke Developmental Nest for premature babies at the RVI in Newcastle.

Tiny Lives gives £27,500 a year to provide “Claire’s Nests” to babies on the Neonatal Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.  Claire’s Nests are named after Sister Claire Ellerby who has been a sister on the ward for over 15 years, and is one of the lead nurses in developmental care.

These soft, cosy nests provide boundaries similar to those provided by the womb, and can help to support proper positioning and physiological stability for premature and sick newborn babies.

The neonatal unit has used similar nests in the past, but with support from Cuski and Tiny Lives, Claire’s Nest has evolved providing a more bespoke design for the babies.  Working with staff on the unit and listening to their ideas and the needs of the babies over the past few years has resulted in the development of Claire’s Deluxe Nest. Modifications added allow the sides to fold down accommodating tubes and wires and allow access to the baby with minimal disturbance.

Working closely with Cuski the staff have devised and pioneered the nest in the UK. The nest retails at £23 and with up to 700 premature or sick newborn babies arriving on the unit every year.   Tiny Lives would like to raise £30,000 so that they can continue to support these special little babies and contribute to the Neonatal unit.

In addition to this, Tiny Lives funds a full time Neonatal Physiotherapist to work on the unit.

Sister Claire said, “We are so grateful for the support we get from the charity to help us provide the best care possible for babies and their families. I am really proud of the work the whole team does and it is a real honour to have my name associated with these nests.”

The Tiny Lives Trust is a registered charity that helps to care for premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

The fund aims to raise at least £250,000 every year to support a range of facilities, for babies, parents and their family as well as offer opportunities for staff to embark on further training to provide the highest level of care.

Claire added “As long as I’m making a difference to babies and parents, that’s the most important thing for me.”

For more information about Tiny Lives and fundraising visit http://www.tinylives.org.uk/