COVID-19

Dads and families get helping hand from Hampshire Hospitals initiative

DadPad founder Julian Bose, Dr Cindy Shawley, HHFT quality improvement lead for maternity, and Vikki Pragnell, community midwife matron, at the March 12 launch of the local DadPad at HHFT. The photograph was taken before Government regulations on social distancing were introduced.

DADS-to-be, new dads, and their families are getting a valuable helping hand from an app that has been launched at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT).

DadPad helps to engage and involve men in the care of their partner and baby. Developed in association with the NHS by Julian Bose and the team at Inspire Cornwall CIC, DadPad is now being rolled out across various locations.

A special event to launch a local version of DadPad took place at HHFT, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, on March 12 before the Government’s social distancing requirements came into force.

Dr Cindy Shawley, quality improvement lead for maternity for HHFT, said: “DadPad is an excellent resource for partners and families, and is a great addition to the excellent care and support that is provided by staff at HHFT.

“It is easy to read, informative, gives clear guidance and support on many subjects, and complements the many services and initiatives we already provide to help and support families.

“Staff are able to use the hard copies of DadPad and the app when giving care, and can signpost parents to look at and read information about how to care for their new family.”

Dr Shawley, who is also postnatal lead/better birth midwife for Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Local Maternity System (SHIP LMS), added: “The advantages of having a tailored local DadPad app is that it is full of relevant local information for dads, for example where and when dads groups/get togethers usually take place across our local area.

“There are also links to mental health support to improve emotional well being and ideas about how to support infant feeding.

“We have already had many dads who have downloaded the app and most of our community staff teams use the app to signpost dads and highlight areas to inform discussions.

“We are extremely fortunate that SHIP LMS have supported us in this local project to introduce our own local version of DadPad, which will be continually updated.”

Inspire CIC managing director Julian Bose, who piloted the DadPad app in 2012, hopes it can help as many families as possible by sharing useful hints, tips, advice, charities, contacts, and other information through which families increase their knowledge and access support.

‘’As a new dad, you will feel excited but you may also feel left out, unsure or overwhelmed,” said Julian. ‘’The DadPad can help by giving you the knowledge and practical skills that you need. The resource will support dad and his partner to give their baby the best possible start in life.

“We want to engage with dads the second they walk through the door, come to scans, or talk to a midwife, to get them to understand what help is available.”

Father-of-two Julian added: “We’re so happy to have launched DadPad at HHFT. Knowing that we’re helping families during this crucial time in their lives is incredible and very rewarding.”

Inspire Cornwall CIC is a social enterprise with no shareholders. It puts any profit and feedback back into its products for the benefit of new dads and their families.

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