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Project information

Bliss Nurses

Having a baby in neonatal care is one of the most stressful events a parent may ever have to face. Bliss Nurses will provide direct non-clinical support to families while they are in hospital, when they need us the most. Our aim is 28 Bliss Nurses - one for every major neonatal intensive care unit.

July 2011 - December 2016

Charity information: Bliss, the special care baby charity

Bliss, the special care baby charity logo
  • Need


    Already anxious about their vulnerable baby’s future, parents of premature and sick babies can find neonatal units distressing. In the weeks and months following the birth of a premature or sick baby, parents often experience emotions of grief and loss. Mothers of premature babies can also suffer higher levels of anxiety than most and are at greater risk of developing postnatal depression. This can severely affect the bonding process and can also lead to developmental problems for the infant.


    Bliss Nurses, will provide what we call ‘Family centred care’ for babies and their families. Nurses will drive high quality care across all neonatal units in their local area. Each Bliss Nurse’s role will be tailored to local needs – this may include promoting Kangaroo Care, helping families when they arrive or as they are discharged from a hospital unit, promoting breastfeeding or coordinating with community services to support families as they transfer their baby’s care to home.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We aim to have recruited 28 Bliss Nurses by 2020 – one into every neonatal network in the UK.


    » We will recruit 5 nurses over the first 5 year period.

    What success will look like

    Success will be parents receiving improved support, health care professionals having increased skills and family centred care being more consistently applied.

  • Impact


    Bliss nurses will introduce simple and cost effective interventions which will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of babies and their families. By providing parents with the non-clinical support they need to help them cope with their experiences they will be better equipped to provide their babies with the care they need to survive and thrive. This ultimately means better long-term outcomes for babies and families alike.


    Every £1 donated towards a Bliss Nurse will unlock a total of £1.67 through our local funding agreements, making your money go further. After three years the Bliss Nurse should then become a permanent fixture on the neonatal unit with funding covered by the NHS.


    Bliss Nurses will send regular reports to Bliss, summarising the activities they have undertaken. They will also provide an analysis of progress against plans. We will update donors regularly as to the impact Bliss Nurses are having.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £500,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £500,000 Salaries Bliss Nurse salaries for five nurses over 5 years

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    Steel Charitable Trust £10,000 Guaranteed
    Arthur James Paterson Charitable Trust £2,050 Guaranteed
    Dixie Rose Findlay Charitable Trust £3,000 Guaranteed
    Madeline Mabey Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    London, Norwich, Birmingham, Leicester, Newcastle


    80,000 babies are born every year needing specialist hospital care. This will help these parents to cope better with their experiences and improve their babies’ chances of surviving and thriving. In the longer term the Bliss Nurse programme aims to standardise the provision of family centred care across the whole of the UK. This would be a huge step towards helping us to give babies born too soon, too small or too sick the best possible chance of survival and of reaching their full potential.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Due to the current chronic shortage of specialist neonatal staff, health care professionals tell us that units need additional, dedicated staff resources if family centred neonatal care is to be practiced more consistently in the UK. This project is based on the latest best practice guidelines which Bliss has worked tirelessly to research and champion, and is made possible through the excellent relationships we have built with neonatal healthcare professionals.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jane Abbott

    Head of Programmes - Bliss Jane is responsible for all Bliss projects which provide support for families and our work with health professionals.

    Andy Cole

    Chief Executive - Bliss Andy is responsible for all Bliss operational activity and also holds key relationships within NHS.

    Fundraising Team

    Passionate and committed to raising the funds to make Bliss Nurses a reality.

    Neonatal Networks & Parents

    Neonatal networks will provide support and funding for the project and parents will shape the developments in practice that our Nurses will carry out.

Dad and baby on neonatal unit

Dad and baby on neonatal unit

“Losing Izzy and having Molly admitted to hospital was the most traumatic experience of my life. We felt isolated and absolutely terrified. "

Kate Morgan, who gave birth to twins Izzy after 22 weeks and four days, and Molly after 23 weeks and five days