A Stockport project to support the parents of young babies through the stresses of the pandemic has been shortlisted at this year’s Nursing Times Awards in the ‘Public Health Nursing’ category.
Maternity nursing staff based at Stepping Hill Hospital and early years support workers from the Stockport Family Service partnership have been recognised for their work on the ICON scheme to give parents additional support to help ensure child welfare.
Midwives, maternity staff and paediatricians working in the hospital and community have worked together with a designated safeguarding nurse, safeguarding midwife and Start Well early years support workers to provide advice and guidance on ways of coping, making it a collaborative effort between Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council under the Stockport Family partnership.
ICON is a national initiative aimed at giving parents and carers additional help and guidance around babies’ crying , with the ultimate aim of reducing head trauma for babies from shaking. Babies crying can add to those already suffering traumatic and stressful situations, which have been greatly increased for many during the pandemic, with more isolation and less family support.
Most health visiting home visits had to stop near the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and so early years support workers previously based in health visiting teams were retrained to give their support on maternity units instead. With training support from the foundation trust’s infant feeding co-ordinator, the support workers were able to offer their support where it was most needed. Over 1,500 new mothers benefitted from the support in the previous year.
Sharon Hyde, Head of Midwifery and Women’s Health for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said:
Being a new parent can be stressful, but the additional pressures of the pandemic have made it so much harder for many new parents. We are really pleased to have been able to offer this much needed support during these difficult times, and we are delighted to be nominated for the Nursing Times Awards in recognition of our efforts.”
The winners for the Nursing Times Awards will be announced in September.