Campaign launched to stop nursing cuts

MHDE-18-01-11-VOLUNTEER-JAN55-03'Catherine Allcott has been named volunteer of the year, by Bliss charity.'Catherine is pictured with son Matthew ( 1 ) & Grace ( 4 )
MHDE-18-01-11-VOLUNTEER-JAN55-03'Catherine Allcott has been named volunteer of the year, by Bliss charity.'Catherine is pictured with son Matthew ( 1 ) & Grace ( 4 )

A FAMILY who lost their baby boy after a premature birth are campaigning to stop cuts to frontline nursing.

Catherine and Nigel Allcott, from Daventry Road in Norton, began fundraising for special care baby charity Bliss in 2006.

Earlier that year their twins, Grace and Luke, were born 14-weeks early at Northampton General Hospital.

Grace survived but Luke died three-and-a-half months later.

In total one in nine babies in Daventry are admitted to specialist hospital care each year.

And the couple are now backing Bliss’ SOS campaign after the charity found that one in every three units caring for premature and sick babies in England are making cuts to their nursing workforce.

Bliss released a report last year which found that 1,150 extra neonatal nurses are needed across the country.

But since then almost 140 frontline posts have been cut.

Mr and Mrs Allcott have raised over £11,000 during the past five years and Mrs Allcott was named Bliss volunteer of the year in 2010.

After the charity launched its campaign at the House of Commons she said: “The day was really motivating for me and we certainly had some very productive conversations with a whole range of MPs.

“It’s amazing to think that a group of mums and dads can make such a difference at the highest levels.

“I feel so proud of all of us and just hope we can make a difference.”

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris met the couple at Westminster and gave his backing to the campaign.

He said: “Babies have the same right to care as everyone else.

“Yet Bliss’ report shows that our most vulnerable babies are not always getting the care they need.”

Bliss campaigns and policy manager Helen Kirrane added: “We are really grateful to Chris Heaton-Harris and Catherine and Nigel for supporting the launch of our SOS report.

“Bliss is urging the Government and individual hospital trusts to stop making short sighted cuts to frontline nurses.”

For more information visit www.bliss.org.uk