Friday, 5 August 2011


Leighton Hospital opened in 1972 and the current Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the same size and has exactly the same layout as it was then. Mid Cheshire Hospitals badly need improved neonatal facilities.

Why does the hospital need a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?

Each year, approximately 3,000 babies are born in the Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area. (Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the organisation that manages Leighton Hospital in Crewe, the Victoria Infirmary at Northwich, and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford.)

Of those 3,000 babies, one in eleven needs additional support, because they’ve been born prematurely, are underweight, or have other complications. This additional support could mean a few hours of special care or several weeks in an intensive care unit.

At the moment, Leighton Hospital’s brilliant neonatal staff have facilities to care for 15 babies at any one time in the Unit. That’s not enough space. In addition, the labour suite and the neonatal facilities are currently on different floors. The hospital needs a bigger, better Neonatal Intensive Care Unit adjacent to the labour ward. To this end, the Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity will soon be launching the One in Eleven Appeal.

What is the One in Eleven Appeal?

The hospital has a certain amount of money allocated to the new neonatal ward, but the shortfall between what they have and what they need amounts to one million pounds. The One in Eleven Appeal – named after the proportion of babies who need special care – will be officially launched on 27th April 2012, and the aim of the appeal is to raise the £1 million needed for the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for Mid Cheshire Hospitals.

What is Ray of Hope’s role in the One in Eleven Appeal?

Ray of Hope’s knitters and sewers provide cardigans, layettes, bonnets and so on for low birth weight and stillborn babies. This has always been our main aim, and it still is. Over the years we’ve helped thousands of mums and babies.

In addition, we raise funds to help the maternity and neonatal units at Mid Cheshire Hospitals. We have a stall every week at Leighton Hospital (alternately on Thursdays and Fridays) where we sell babywear from birth to school age (from 12" to 28" chest) and knitted toys and we participate in other events throughout the year. We are committed over the next two years to raise funds for the One in Eleven Appeal. We have already put £10,000 towards the fund and are hoping that with your help we can raise much more.

What can you do to help?

You can raise funds for Ray of Hope or you can donate. To find out more, email me at

We’ll be blogging about our progress here. You can also ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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