Brighton & Hove

Help Rockinghorse provide a very special gift for premature babies this Christmas

Help Rockinghorse provide a very special gift for premature babies this Christmas

Celebrating 50 years of supporting sick children and babies in Sussex, Rockinghorse children’s charity has launched its Christmas appeal to raise funds for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU).

Based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, the TMBU provides intensive care for sick and premature babies. Over the years, Rockinghorse has received incredible support for its fundraising projects for the baby unit; from the very first incubator appeal in the 1960’s, through to the charity’s campaign to purchase a specialist Retcam eye scanner in 2014.

This December, Rockinghorse is once again asking supporters to help this outstanding unit. The charity is raising funds for an X-ray Imaging Machine that will provide staff at the TMBU with an instant X-ray image, allowing immediate modification of lines and tubes on a premature baby. Money raised from the appeal will significantly improve the overall experience of a preterm infant, who typically requires multiple X-rays to be taken during their admission.

Dr Ryan Watkins, Consultant Neonatologist at the TMBU, explains: “As one of the top neonatal centres in the UK, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the world-leading treatment we offer. One way we can achieve this is by providing a ‘real time’ X-ray facility on site.

“Currently, when an X-ray is needed for a patient, we request a radiographer to attend from the adult hospital. They use a traditional X-ray machine, and once an image is taken and processed, it can take some time – and an anxious wait for parents – before the medical team can examine the results and offer the appropriate treatment.

“A new digital imaging system is available which would completely change the way in which we can treat our tiny patients. This innovative equipment offers immediate processing of the X-ray image whilst the machine is at the bedside. We are keen to provide the new X-ray facility as soon as possible as it will immediately lead to quicker results and better treatment.”

Over 550 babies a year are admitted to the TMBU, and it is not uncommon for a baby to require up to 30 X-rays during their stay on the unit. The new equipment will significantly improve overall radiation exposure for preterm infants.

Louise Bartha, Appeals and Trusts Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, says: “It is estimated that one in nine babies born in the UK will spend time on a neonatal unit, so many families experience what it is like to have a poorly new born baby, and the anxiety and worry this can bring.

“Every day, the amazing neonatal team at the TMBU hold in their hands the most precious and fragile little lives. With the help of our supporters, we can continue to ensure the very best possible standard of care for many years to come.”

To support the appeal; text ROCK00 to 70070 to donate £2, £5 or £10, visit or call 01273 330044.