The Sick Children's Trust is pleased to support such a valuable piece of work, which echoes the experiences of so many of our families. The Dexter family faced a lengthy stay in the local Travel Lodge when their baby Oscar was admitted to the Rosie Hospital. They managed to scrape together the money for the first expensive night and thankfully the next day they were introduced to our 'Home from Home' accommodation at Acorn House, just minutes from their baby's side.
Without our support, financial concerns would have made an already stressful situation even worse. They might have had to spend nights sleeping in their car, or face the reality of having to leave Oscar in hospital to return to their home several hours' drive away.
78,000 babies are born too early or too poorly every year. The report found their parents, on average, spent £2,256 over the course of their baby's stay in hospital. Many have to:
Take unpaid leave from work to be with their baby at the hospital. Leave their baby each night as they are unable to stay close by. Pay for daily travel and parking costs. Buy all their food from the hospital canteen or expensive franchises
Bliss says: 'There are many things parents will worry about when their baby is admitted to neonatal care, whether they can afford to be there shouldn't be one of them.'
We agree. That's why we work so hard to provide free of charge 'Home from Home' accommodation for thousands of families every year. Families who otherwise simply couldn't afford to be by their baby's side during their treatment.
We encourage you to visit the Bliss website to find out how you can support the campaign by emailing your MP.
Claudette Watson, The Sick Children's Trust's Chief Executive, says: 'For families with a seriously ill baby in hospital, their one concern should be for their child, not how they'll pay for petrol or parking, a room for the night, meals from a hospital canteen or care for their other children. We provide support for around 3,500 families every year, but we know this is just the tip of the ice berg. Many more have to struggle on without the emotional and practical support they so desperately need. I welcome this report from Bliss and we will be wholeheartedly supporting the campaign to call on the government to make better provision for these families.'