Small Wonders DVD and accompanying Change Programme.

We launched Small Wonders in June 2012 and are grateful to everyone who gave speeches on the launch night, to those who continue to support the programme through Small Wonders Champions events, and to the endorsing organisations.

Films are available to watch online and you can order copies of the Small Wonders DVD in our shop.

In 2016 we will be holding a Small Wonders Conference, part of which will see the launch of the Small Wonders Independent Evaluation.

Background to Small Wonders

Approximately 80,000 (1 in 10) babies are born sick or premature in the UK each year. Small Wonders aims to empower the parents of these babies to be at the heart of their child’s care in ways that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

Read the Small Wonders evidence base.

The Small Wonders DVD, launched in June 2012, forms the centrepiece of the programme and is designed to be integrate into maternity, neonatal and health visiting services, and to be used in healthcare professional training. The DVD contains twelve films, which follow fourteen families on their journey.  

Over 95,000 Small Wonders DVDs have been distributed and are they being used in 85% of the hospitals with a neonatal unit in England.

Evaluation of Small Wonders

As part of the Small Wonders Change Programme Best Beginnings is undertaking an intensive intervention and evaluation programme at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust to embed and evaluate the impact of Small Wonders. Two Band 7 research nurses have been employed full time to manage the roll-out of Small Wonders across these three sites. We are undertaking a robust evaluation of the intervention by looking at pre and post intervention data to assess the impact that Small Wonders has on breasfeeding rates, parents' experience and staffs' confidence and knowledge around family centred care. The evaluation will be completed in 2016 and launched at our Small Wonders Conference - details to follow.

Feedback we have had from Small Wonders Champions, parents and other health professionals has been incredibly positive. A survey carried out with Small Wonders Champions across England in 2012 showed that, in the 36 hospitals that completed the survey, 84% of staff rated the DVDs as 'very' or 'extremely useful'. 

The Yorkshire & Humber region actively embedded Small Wonders and used it in staff training as part of a larger scale health innovation and education project. Audit data showed a 20% increase in the proportion of babies receiving skin-to-skin care across the region and an uplift in breastmilk on discharge by 10%. This data was presented at the MAINN Conference and is being written up for publication. 

“I would like to thank you for providing such a valuable tool to assist in supporting the parents of premature and sick infants. I have just watched the DVD it not only informed my practice as a neonatal nurse, but I feel strongly that it will inform parents of their babies journey. I applaud the effort that went into making this DVD in such detail and explaining medical terminology in such an understanding manner. I wholeheartedly believe this will be an invaluable tool for me and my colleagues to use in supporting parents of premature and sick babies. Thank you.” Robin Harrower, Senior Nurse, Southend University Hospital NHS

Small Wonders Champions

To ensure that the Small Wonders DVDs are used effectively with parents and staff, Best Beginnings has been recruiting and supporting a network of volunteer Small Wonders Champions (mostly neonatal nurses and midwives). They work to ensure that all staff on the unit have watched the DVD, are aware of its aims and that each family on their unit receives the DVD in a consistent and supportive way.  

Over 460 Small Wonders Champions have been recruited to help establish excellence in family‑centred care as common practice and improve health outcomes for these vulnerable babies. Thanks to funding from the Department of Health we have printed 100,000 further copies of the Small Wonders DVD so they can continue being given free to parents and staff.  We also have a Small Wonders Champion Forum.

The DVD is now being disseminated in Northern Ireland thanks to funding from the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency and they are soon to be distributed in Scotland thanks to funding from the Scottish Government.

Small Wonders Stakeholder Days 2014

A series of Small Wonders Days took place in 2014. The days were designed to support hospitals to effectively embed Small Wonders into practice by providing opportunities for Small Wonders Champions to network, share learning and best practice, celebrate successes and achievements, and discover ways of overcoming barriers. Click here to download the report of feedback from delegates.

Small Wonders in your area

We have evidence that our resources are having more impact when they are embedded in local care pathways.

If you would like to discuss embedding Small Wonders in your area please visit the Commissioning and Resources page.

'Getting it Right from the Start' Small Wonders Neonatal Workshop

As part of the intensive intervention, Best Beginnings has been working with Julie Watson and the Yorkshire and Humber HIEC (Health Innovation & Education Cluster) at the Mother & Infant Research Unit (University of York) to co-develop the Best Beginnings ‘Getting it Right from the Start’ Small Wonders Neonatal Workshop, which is being piloted at the three sites, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College Hospital and Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust. For further information on the 'Getting it Right from the Start' Small Wonders Neonatal Workshop please click here.

Neonatal Unit Clinical Assessment Tool (NUCAT)

To aid the evaluation of the intensive intervention Best Beginnings, in collaboration with Health Behaviour Research Limited, Coventry University and an expert working group, developed a new clini­cal assessment tool called NUCAT. NUCAT is now available for use across all UK units; to find out more about NUCAT and how you can administer it in your hospital please click here.

Peer Supporters Project

In addition to the above, in Liverpool Women's NHS Trust Best Beginnings has also developed and is piloting a course to support and train parents who have had a baby on the neonatal unit to be ‘Peer Supporters’ who can support other parents through their experiences.  

Kangaroo Care stickers

Best Beginnings and Bliss have collaborated to support family-centered care across the UK. As part of our collaboration, the charities launched a national Kangaroo Care Sticker Project with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We have produced a new pack of stickers and record charts to promote the uptake of extended periods of skin-to-skin contact between a baby and their parents (also known as Kangaroo Care). The idea for the project came from Claire Campbell, a nurse at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, during the Bliss Baby Charter audit process at the RVI when parents identified that they would like more opportunity for skin-to-skin with their babies. Read more about the benefits of Kangaroo Care.