Northamptonshire family business raises over £32,000 for specialist baby incubator for NGH ward

Pictured L-R: Jo and Nigel Wagstaff, daughter Julie Blayney, pediatric consultant Dr Nick Barnes and ward manager Grace Rogers.
Pictured L-R: Jo and Nigel Wagstaff, daughter Julie Blayney, pediatric consultant Dr Nick Barnes and ward manager Grace Rogers.

A big-hearted family has raised thousands of pounds in a one year fundraising drive to buy a specialist premature baby incubator - a more accessible machine to allow parents to interact with their baby.

Husband and wife, Nigel and Jo Wagstaff of Moulton Park firm, Houghton Hams have raised £32,370.28 through staff efforts at their business, as well as charity golf days and donations from friends.

The cause is close to the couples heart as the Gosset ward once helped their eldest child, Paul, who needed support from an incubator when he was first born.

The Giraffe incubator is able to adjust in height, which means that there is space for a wheelchair to fit underneath for mothers to be closer to their baby.

Other features include the high-tech machine is able to weigh the babies while they sleep inside, so they do not become disturbed. The baby’s temperature is also monitored automatically and they have the ability to give extra humidity and oxygen.

This state-of-the-art machine, in turn, reduces the amount of equipment needed in the small rooms on Gosset ward.

Gosset ward manager Grace Rogers has worked at Northampton General Hospital for 24 years. She said the incubator is the best thing the ward can provide for poorly babies.

She said: "The doctors can get to the baby when they are first born, they can get in there, put the central lines in the umbilical cord, and if we have to resuscitate the baby, we can be close for that work.

"We usually have between 360 and 460 babies per year on the Gosset ward - on average the babies spend about six weeks in the incubator. A lot of the babies spend quite a lot of time with us so the parents become close with us."

Nigel and Jo donated the money to the Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund, which aims to enhance patient experience beyond what the NHS can fund.

Nigel Wagstaff said: "As a family we are very much aware of how everyone connected with the Gosset ward is genuinely grateful for our help in the purchase of another 'giraffe incubator'.

"When I first discussed the initial request with the charity, it touched a nerve as both Jo and myself were indebted to the fantastic love and care that Paul received from the ward and the use of an incubator at the time. During the last 12 months while raising funds, many people have offered their support, many with touching and moving stories."