In the past funds such as Tiny Lives provided much of the equipment that is now regarded as standard.

Whilst this is now mostly provided by the NHS there are occasions when “extra” funds help the unit to stay at the cutting edge of technology.

Phillips Affiniti 70 Ultrasound system Scanner 

Tiny Lives has recently funded the purchase of a cutting-edge ultrasound scanner, which has had a significant positive impact on the staff on the Neonatal Unit, as well as the babies under their care. The scanner has improved image quality, allowing for easier assessment by Neonatal staff, as well as others from across the hospital who may be brought in to help assess the needs of a baby, such as cardiologists and radiographers.

It has also reduced the need for patient transfer, meaning premature babies and their families are less likely to need to go elsewhere for scans, allowing for ‘cotside’ assessments. This is a great stress reducer, both for families and for babies who are often too unwell to be moved. The new scanner can also use Wi-Fi, giving greater flexibility around image upload and remote review to both radiologists and cardiologists.

HC795210_Affinitty 70 Scanner

Sim Baby

We use Sim Baby as a way of training our doctors and nurses who might not have had any previous experience in newborn resuscitation…it allows them to have a go at  things before they have to actually go and do it in real life” (Consultant, Ward 35)

Tiny Lives has funded the purchase of Sim Baby, which is infant patient simulator that allows staff to practice responding to a wide range of scenarios and develop their individual and team working skills in a safe environment. The Sim Baby is an intelligent mannequin with inbuilt computerised facilities, which can be programmed to simulate a wide range of scenarios.

“We have made training of new and existing staff using Sim Baby an integral part of the work on the SCBU. All staff now recognise the importance of practising these ‘drills’ and the junior medical staff (the consultants of tomorrow!) in particular have benefited enormously – many have said how the key skills they learned and developed with Sim Baby have helped them provide better care in the emergency situation.” (Consultant, Ward 35)

Transport incubator

Tiny Lives paid for the purchase of a transporter incubator which is used to safely transfer premature and sick babies between the RVI and other hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Network area. Babies may need to be transferred for lots of different reasons, including cot availability or specialist treatment.

“There were no beds available at the RVI, my son was transferred to the Sunderland Neonatal Unit. This would not have been possible without the travel incubator funded by Tiny Lives. As heart-wrenching as it was to be separated from my son so soon after birth, I will be forever grateful that he was able to safely reach the specialist treatment he needed…later the travel incubator brought my baby back to a hospital closer to home.”


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