Our annual Family Nursing gift helps baby’s parents sleep easy this Christmas

FNHC Xmas donation Main

Caring Team (l to r) Health Visitor Sarah Greenwell, Fund Raising Officer Mia Mistry and  Clinical Nurse Specialist Gilly Glendewar

Family Nursing & Homecare will be able to provide two very different types of relief for Islanders this Christmas thanks to Jersey Electricity’s annual donation of funds saved by not sending corporate Christmas cards. One Jersey family in particular will be sleeping easier after receiving a state-of-art baby monitor provided by FNHC and funded by JE.

FNHC offer the CONI (Care of the Next Infant) programme and CONI PLUS to provide enhanced support for parents who have previously suffered a sudden and unexpected death of a baby, or who have had a baby who has experienced an apparent life threatening event, or have close relatives who have, and may be more anxious than other families when their baby is born.

Parents receive regular home visits, training in basic life support and a symptom diary to record their baby’s health. They also receive a baby passport so that if the parents are worried their baby is unwell they can be seen quickly by the right person. Parents are also provided with a baby monitor for added reassurance as an alarm sounds if the baby stops breathing.  But at a cost of over £700 each, the monitors are beyond the means of many families so FNHC put it on the charity’s ‘Christmas Wish List’ for Jersey Electricity.

The Bree family of St Helier are the first to benefit from the new monitor.  When their first daughter was born she became unwell at eight weeks old and suffered a life threatening event. She had to be resuscitated by her father while waiting for the ambulance. Though now their daughter is a healthy six-year-old, the Brees never forgot the trauma and when mother Chantelle gave birth to their third child, Jaxon, a few weeks ago, FNHC offered the family the support of the CONI programme, set up by the Lullaby Trust in 1988.

FNHC Health Visitor Sarah Greenwell explained:  ‘The Lullaby Trust promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and provides specialist support for bereaved families. It is committed to supporting new research projects to understand more about what causes these tragic deaths and how they can be prevented. Over the last 40 years the research the Lullaby Trust has funded has helped to identify why, when and where babies and toddlers may be at risk of sudden infant and unexpected death syndrome (SIDS), making a major contribution to reducing sudden infant death by more than 80%.

‘The baby monitor provides great reassurance to anxious parents. The type we have obtained can be used outside the home over 24 hours as well as at bedtimes, providing added reassurance because a life-threatening event can occur anytime or anywhere. (More information about safer sleeping with your baby and the CONI programme can be found at www.lullabytrust.org.uk)

‘The monitor has already come to Jaxon’s aid  when he was unwell and the parents, trained in simple symptom checking, were able to seek medical advice. The risk of SIDS decreases as babies grow older so the monitor will benefit more families in future.’

Charlotte Bree said: ‘The monitor is really good and very reassuring. I wished we’d had one with the older child. It’s wonderful to have the peace of mind we have in the home even when we go out and about.’

Patients often at the other end of the age spectrum will also benefit from funding for pressure cushions to help provide relief for those at risk of pressure ulceration due to mobility issues and other health problems.

Gilly Glendewar, FNHC Clinical Nurse Specialist in Tissue Viability, said: ‘Skin can deteriorate very quickly when the circulation is restricted due pressure caused by lack of movement. It can be a little as two hours and will take months to heal. There is more risk at home than in hospital where there are 24-hour carers to watch and monitor situations and ensure patients move. These cushions can make a huge difference in the community either preventing ulceration developing in those we know are at risk or relieving pain in those already affected.

‘It is not just the elderly who can be at risk. It is anyone whose movement is restricted: wheelchair dependent people, MS sufferers, those with dementia or even depression. We are introducing pressure mapping to see exactly where an individual’s pressure points are to ensure they receive the most suitable equipment. But again, like the monitor, because this is medical equipment the cushions can be expensive for many and we want to provide them for those who can’t afford to buy their own.’

This is the 11th year JE has made this gift and FNHC Fund Raising Officer Mia Mistry: ‘We are always grateful for Jersey Electricity’s Christmas donation which every year helps provide us with much needed equipment of benefit to the community.’