With the NHS under extreme pressure and neonatal units across the UK as busy as ever, ongoing specialist training for Neonatal staff is crucial to ensuring positive outcomes.
In June 2023, New Life Special Care Babies, a charitable organisation, received a funding request from The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. The request sought support for a cutting-edge training manikin known as SimNewB, a newborn simulator collaboratively developed with the American Academy of Paediatrics, specifically designed to enhance neonatal resuscitation.
New Life, founded by Mr Trevor Goodall, was delighted to be able to fund the manikin, which cost £18,400 and has been named ‘Joshua’ by the Trust after one of Mr Goodall’s twins born at 24 weeks in 1995. Both twins sadly died a week later.
Ms Jilly Luck, Neonatal Practice Education Lead at the Trust said, “We are excited to be receiving the SimNewB from the New Life charity. Our neonatal unit is one of the leading departments in the Trust for point of care simulation training. The addition of SimNewB will help us deliver more hi spec hi fidelity simulations to our integrated team. I was thrilled when I heard that it was possible to obtain the manikin through New Life. Our nursing and medical team will gain much more insight to realistic simulation training of sick and premature infants with this new doll.”
The SimNewB will enable staff to hone their clinical skills and techniques on things such as airway management. The first 10 minutes after a premature baby is born are critical. The SimNewB helps neonatal specialists practice in a safe and realistic team-centred environment, where learning to communicate effectively and respond as a team can improve outcomes.
Mr Trevor Goodall said, “I am delighted that we were able to fund the SimNewB. It is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment we have funded this year, thanks to the incredible fundraising that the charity continues to undertake. I know how much this will mean to the staff at The Royal Cornwall and having the manikin named after one of my twin sons means so much. I know how important this specialist equipment is to staff on neonatal units and what a difference it makes to their job and the care of these tiny premature babies.”
New Life supplies specialist equipment and items speedily to neonatal units across the UK because of the unique way it works. Consultants and other neonatal specialists submit requests to the charity, often for equipment that would otherwise take months to source through the NHS. Some equipment that the charity has supplied is not available through NHS funding.
Established 26 years ago by Mr. Goodall following the premature birth and subsequent loss of his twin boys, New Life has evolved from a one-time charity golf day into a continuous series of fundraising events. In 2021, the charity achieved the significant milestone of £1 million, benefiting numerous families and hospitals across the UK.