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Virtually connecting parents and babies at Simpsons Neonatal Unit, Edinburgh

vCreate: New virtual video diary app at Simpson Neonatal Unit at Edinburgh Royal is helping parents connect with their babies

vCreate is a secure virtual app enabling video messages and photographs of babies on the neonatal unit to be sent to parents. The Simpson Neonatal Unit unit started using vCreate in April 2020, which coincidentally coincided with restricted parental and family visiting due to COVID19. In the first week, the unit took 80 videos, and since launch, have supported 124 families with almost 1000 videos (989 to be exact!) and 420 photos.

Currently using four dedicated iPads, parents can send videos to family members if they choose. And, at discharge, parents have the ability to download all videos and photos – a lovely way to look back and see how far their little ones have developed and grown.

There is a huge enthusiasm for vCreate, and the unit's ambition is that the service becomes even more embedded into everyday practice. The response from both staff and importantly parents has been overwhelmingly positive.

A recent snapshot audit on the unit showed that 90% of babies in ICU had vCreate accounts, with some babies having starred in as many as 79 videos from their neonatal stay.

Dr Vix Monnelly, Consultant Neonatologist at Simpson Neonatal Unit said that;

"Being involved in the introduction of vCreate is one of the things I am most proud of. It makes a huge difference to our families. They love being able to see their baby from afar, in the middle of the night, or with a special message for a sibling or parent. vCreate has also had a really positive impact on staff, who love taking these wee videos, especially during the challenging times posed by Covid-19."


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