NOURISH service keeps our littlest Sunshine Coast babies out of hospital

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Alison Holman and Paula Thiesfield from the NOURISH team at Sunshine Coast University Hospital

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital is offering a new service to parents and babies that will see families returning home sooner.

NOURISH is designed to provide care and support in the home from a neonatal home visiting service. The service, which kicked off in April 2024, will be offered seven days a week during the six-month trial.

Sunshine Coast Health Nursing Service Director Keppel Schafer said:

“We’re providing care to around 10 babies per month as part of this service, and we’re already seeing some of the benefits to babies and families."

The benefits of the service include reduced risk of infections, reduced overall length of stay in hospital, improved satisfaction for families, reduced psychological impact for prolonged hospitalisation, and decreased impact for families having to travel.

Sunshine Coast Health Acting Chief Executive Joanne Shaw said:

“Seeing our littlest babies able to go home is always a key milestone, and this service helps babies needing feeding or phototherapy support to be cared for out of hospital.

“Babies being cared for in hospital isn’t always the best place for them to get better – not only for their wellbeing, but the impacts on their families as well.

“Families have provided significant positive feedback as our frontline neonatal team can visit their home, and provide care to baby, without disrupting family life for parents or siblings.”