Best Beginnings Small Wonders Change Programme

Published on Friday, 22 March 2013 16:46
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

More than one in ten babies in the UK is born prematurely or sick.  Child health charity Best Beginning's Small Wonders Programme aims to increase rates of breast milk that premature babies receive and rates of skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, ultimately improving health outcomes for sick and premature babies. 

At the heart of the Small Wonders National Change Programme is the Small Wonders DVD; a series of films that follow fourteen families on their journey from birth, to first contact with their baby, to one year on.  Best Beginnings worked closely with over 200 families and expert profes­sionals to produce and pilot these films and the DVD has been endorsed by over 20 organisations, including UNICEF, RCM and RCPCH. 

It is the first DVD of its kind and follows real parents' experiences of having a sick or premature baby.  The DVD is designed to be used as a support for parents as well as a tool for the training of healthcare professionals. The charity is recruiting Small Wonders Champions in each hospital across the UK to maximise impact and ensure the effective use of the DVD with parents and staff.  If you are interested to see if your hospital already has a Champion or if you would like to become one yourself and help embed the DVD into your hospital's practice please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can watch the Small Wonders films on Best Beginnings website here

Small Wonders progress across the UK

  • Most of the neonatal units in England were sent their Small Wonders DVDs in the summer of 2012 therefore the focus has now shifted to launching Small Wonders in the remaining three UK nations and getting the last remaining 28 units who do not have DVDs in England on board.
  • There are now 425 Champions in England in total; 163 out of 171 hospitals with a neonatal unit now have at least 1 Small Wonders Champion.
  • 145 out of the 171 neonatal units in England now have the DVDs.
  • 78,650 DVDs have been distributed to date.
  • In 2012, the Scottish Government awarded funding to Best Beginnings to distribute Small Wonders DVDs to all Scottish neonatal units. Small Wonders supports and augments the new Scottish Neonatal Services Framework which is due to be published in spring this year.
  • In January of this year the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency awarded Best Beginnings funding for the distribution of Small Wonders across neonatal units in Northern Ireland. So far Champions have been nominated in 6 of the 8 neonatal units here and DVDs are beginning to be sent out.

For more info on Small Wonders or any of our other projects at Best Beginnings visit our site.

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