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UHP Neonatal Intensive Care Unit forms partnership with Hearts Together

Hearts Together Hospital Hotel

Colleagues from the NICU, Keep Me Close and Hearts Together

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has entered a partnership with local hospital hotel charity, Hearts Together, to provide home from home accommodation for parents and families of patients caring for premature or sick babies in the NICU.

The NICU, which is based at Derriford Hospital, cares for babies from around the Devon and Cornwall peninsula who have either been born prematurely or with other life threatening illnesses. Often these babies have been transferred in from other hospitals for a higher level of care and end up having extended stays within the NICU. Due to the nature of the babies cared for within the NICU at UHP, parents are encouraged to remain close by to promote bonding, maternal and paternal mental health and to allow parents to be involved in their baby’s care, something that is intrinsic to the development of their baby.

The NICU at UHP can treat 12 babies across their intensive and high dependency care nurseries and their unit based accommodation is limited to 3 families at any given time, priority being given to families of babies who are very unwell, do not live locally or for parents to room in with their infant prior to discharge. If more accommodation is needed the charity has previously secured additional rooms from a variety of sources, including local hotels at extreme cost and local student accommodation. Although such facilities have been well received by the NICU families they do not always offer the bespoke additional amenities necessary to support their stay.

However, through the new partnership with Hearts Together Hospital Hotel, the Keep Me Close fund has secured a further 4 self-catering ensuite kitchenette rooms within Hearts Together Hospital Hotel, conveniently located near to Derriford Hospital at the Plymouth Science Park. With these additional number of bedrooms secured under the new partnership, the neonatal families will continue to have access to free bespoke accommodation that is close to their baby at UHP NICU.

Hearts Together has been supporting staff, visitors and patients alongside UHP for over 20 years, providing accommodation as well as support services for those facing difficult times such as a wraparound counselling service, access to a fully equipped communal kitchen, washing facilities, complimentary breakfast, communal areas including a garden, and the Hearts Together shuttle vehicle for lifts to and from Derriford Hospital.

For more information about the Keep Me Close appeal please visit

For more information about Hearts Together please visit

For more information about neonatal family hardship please visit Financial information | Bliss.

For more information about UHP NICU and the Southwest Neonatal Operation Delivery Network please visit Home (

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