18th December 2019
LEADING Teesside baby hospice, Zoe’s
Place is the first hospice in the UK to launch the vCreate video and picture diary app, thanks to its partnership with local charity Leo’s.
The app will allow hospice staff to send
secure pictures and videos of the special babies which receive respite care atthe Normanby site, to keep parents updated on what their children are getting up to.
Leo’s, which supports families of sick
and premature babies across the North East, recently partnered with Zoe’s Place to support even more families after neonatal care. The charity is now funding the service at Zoe’s Place, making it free to the families it cares for courtesy of its supporters Infinity Digital.
Everything from memory making, to trips out and even the ability for the staff to ask questions and send pictures or videos about any queries they have, will help improve the support families receive.
Once content is uploaded to the system, parents receive updates via a text message or email within a matter of minutes, giving them the ability to see what their child is getting up to in almost real time.
Once the children leave the hospice, families can then download and keep their vCreate diary; for some, that could be six years’ worth of memories.
Mark Guidery, General Manager, Zoe’s Place, said: “Being able to offer such a revolutionary service to our parents is incredibly exciting.
“We know how vital this service can be, not only for our respite families, but for our families who are receiving end of life care who can capture those special moments. It gives us the added ability for new families, while we get to know their child, to send pictures or videos of anything we’re unsure of. With vCreate, they’ll be able to check this
at home and let us know, rather than coming back to the hospice. It means our parents can get more of a break too, which is ultimately what respite is all about.”
Ashleigh Rickards, Deputy Care Lead, said: “”We are delighted to welcome vCreate to the hospice, it is going to be such a wonderful addition to the care that we provide to the families.
“We often find that our families are anxious to leave their little ones whilst they are with us for respite.
“vCreate will allow parents to be updated with how their child is and they can see the fun that they have been getting up too, they will be provided with pictures straight to their personal phone. A big thankyou to Leo’s and the team for making this possible”
The service will be available for free from Zoe’s Place to all parents from December 4th. Any new families seeking support will sign up upon arrival.
vCreate, which is currently approved in more than 60 hospitals across the UK, is mainly used in neonatal and paediatric intensive care units to help reduce separation anxiety in parents.
Ben Moore, Founder of vCreate, said: “We worked with Leo’s to support families during Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week, and realised that we both have a shared passion for supporting families going through the trauma of having a child who is born too soon or too sick.
“When we heard about their partnership with Zoe’s Place, we really wanted to get involved and implement the service here with Leo’s. The work Zoe’s Place does for families is excellent and being able to improve the mental well-being of the parents’ who have children cared for by the team is at the heart of all of this.”
Lottie King, founder of Leo’s, added: “We are so thrilled to be able to offer this service to the families at Zoe’s Place. We are sure it will bring much added comfort for so many of the parents who pass through the doors of the hospice.
“None of this would be possible without the support of the team at Infinity Digital who have set the mammoth task of raising the £15,000 a year needed for the service across the North East.
“It will be great for our families who have used the service on the neonatal units we support to then have access to it here too. We look forward to continuing our growing relationship with Zoe’s Place and helping even more families together.”