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Baby in Cot

Earlier this year, St Peter’s Hospital’s (SPH) Little Roo Neonatal Fund went out to local NHS Hospital Trusts to request their support in contributing to the purchase of a new milk pasteuriser for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s (NICU) human milk bank.

The request was sent to those Trusts who benefit from the valuable service the SPH NICU milk bank provides; ensuring that the most vulnerable infants in Surrey and beyond have access to human milk when the mother's milk is not available or not enough to meet the specific needs of their baby.

As a result, Frimley Health Charity very kindly donated £4,000 towards purchasing a new milk pasteuriser, which costs in the region of £25,000 to replace.

Sid Hurry, Little Roo Fund Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to Frimley Health Charity for contributing towards the purchase of a new milk bank pasteuriser, this is a great display of hospital charities working together to make a difference to tiny lives.”

Vennila Ponnusamy, Consultant Neonatologist at St Peter’s Hospital, said: “Having ready access to donated expressed breast milk (DEBM) is invaluable to the most vulnerable babies who, for a number of reasons, may not have access to their mother’s milk. Additionally, having a milk bank provides an opportunity for some of the mothers to kindly donate excess milk to support the community of high-risk babies and mothers.

“There are only a limited number of human breast milk banks in the UK. At St Peter’s Hospital, we are so fortunate to have had one set up a couple of decades ago. We have continued to develop this service over the years to support not only the babies and mothers in our unit but also widely across Surrey. This incredible donation from our Little Roo Neonatal Charitable Fund and Frimley Health Charity will help to upgrade our pasteuriser and continue to provide this valuable service.”

Andrew House, Director of Frimley Health Charity, said: “Donor milk is important for all preterm babies and term babies at high risk of complications. It contains essential nutrients to improve growth and weight gain, as well as immunologic properties to reduce risk of serious infections and improve cognitive and metabolic outcomes.

“The human milk bank at St Peter’s provides donated milk to babies in other neonatal units within the Kent, Surrey, and Sussex network, including Frimley Park Hospital, to support poorly and premature babies.

“St Peter’s milk bank provided 24 litres of milk last year to Frimley Park’s neonatal unit. By coming together, we can ensure poorly and premature babies continue to reap the benefits of receiving donated human milk. By donating £4,000 towards this equipment, we can help continue this service.

“We are thrilled to be able to support St Peter’s as they continue to support Frimley Park Hospital in looking after some of our most vulnerable patients.”

 

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