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Project information

New Neonatal Parent Accommodation

Around 300 premature and sick babies are cared for each year at the Winnicott Baby Unit at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. The Winnicott Foundation wants to provide six en-suite parent bedrooms next to the neonatal unit so that more parents can stay near to their babies.

December 2013 - December 2015

Charity information: The Winnicott Foundation

The Winnicott Foundation logo
  • Need


    There is a need to provide more bedrooms for neonatal parents babies do better when their parents are with them and currently only 2 families can stay near to the unit. Parents need to stay with their babies in the rooms before going home, to have a bedroom near to their unit when their baby is very sick, when establishing feeding at night, when transferred from another hospital and after discharge from maternity. Too many parents have to wait: this can affect bonding, lactation and discharge.


    The creation of 6 ensuite bedrooms next to the neonatal unit will allow more parents to stay near to the unit and with their babies. Mothers can feed their babies through the night sooner and parents can stay with their babies in the room, as soon as they are ready for home, so babies do not need to spend longer in hospital than is necessary. After birth, parents can stay near to their baby, improving bonding and lactation. When a baby is very sick, parents will be near.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build six en-suite parent bedrooms and a sitting room within a pyjama walk of the neonatal unit.


    » To raise up to £606,000 to fund the creation of these rooms.

    What success will look like

    There is a bedroom available for every parent when they need it.

  • Impact


    The project will help to get babies home sooner - babies will spend less time in a neonatal unit and a family will be together earlier.
    Families will not need to stay in hotel rooms, funded by the Winnicott Foundation, when their baby is very sick or they live a long way away.
    Mothers can be discharged earlier from the maternity wards rather than wait until they are well enough to make a daily journey from home back to hospital.
    Lactation rates will improve as mothers have better support.


    The main risks are a) lack of approval from the hospital for this project and b)lack of funding.

    a) has been met by ensuring that all plans have been developed in partnership with the hospital and approval is gained before full fundraising commences
    b)a focused fundraising campaign


    Regular updates will be posted on our website and via social media and postal and e-newsletters. Major donors with whom we have a personal relationship will receive regular reports and be able to visit the site.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £600,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £450,000 Construction costs Cost of the physical building works
      £70,000 Furnishings From beds and other furniture through to items for the kitchens
      £80,000 Professional Fees Architects, engineers, hospital project management, asbestos management and planning contingency
  • Background


    The rooms will be opposite the Winnicott Baby Unit at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London. They will be within the enlarged Winnicott Baby Unit space, separated from the rest of the hospital by doors. The rooms will be a 'pyjama walk' from the babies in the nursery. The Winnicott Baby Unit cares for over 300 premature and sick babies each year, including babies transferred from across and outside of London for specialist care.


    The neonatal unit at St Mary's is an NHS unit that cares for babies principally in the North West London area but also for those from further afield. Families come from all backgrounds. There is a high level of social deprivation and refugee families. There is a large Arabic community with a significant number of families not having English as a first language plus a lack of wider family support. All experience shock at their baby being born premature or sick and needing intensive care.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Winnicott Foundation is an independent charity that has, for 28 years, provided additional support to premature and sick babies and their families at St Mary's (and now Queen Charlotte's). Based in the hospitals, we work closely with NHS staff and parents to understand the immediate and longer term needs of babies, families and the units. As a parent-led charity we understand the importance of family accommodation and have been supporting families and babies for many years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Pippa Jones

    Pippa has been Chief Executive of the Winnicott Foundation for 8 years. She works closely with hospital staff and is a parent of a premature baby.

    Board Of Trustees

    The Trustees are all parents of babies cared for in a neonatal unit. They are involved in this project through fundraising and cost management.

    Dr Sunit Godambe

    Dr Godambe, a neonatal consultant, is the Lead Clinician for the Imperial neonatal service and leads on this project for the hospital.

Getting closer to home...

Getting closer to home...


Will help provide more family rooms

The thought of giving up the security of having nurses and doctors around him 24/7 was petrifying

Victoria, whose son has Chronic Lung Disease and went home with oxygen