Bedfordshire Hospitals awarded ‘Employer with Heart’ Chartermark, to ensure all employees THRIVE

Date: 29/02/2024 | Category: General News

Bedfordshire Hospitals awarded ‘Employer with Heart’ Chartermark, to ensure all employees THRIVE

We are immensely proud to share that Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have committed to being an ‘Employer with a Heart’, therefore have received the Chartermark from The Smallest Things Premature Baby Charity, a registered charity supporting the needs of premature babies and their families following neonatal intensive care.

Annually, 60,000 babies in the UK are born premature (prior to 37 weeks’ gestation) and make up 38% of babies requiring admission to specialist Neonatal Intensive Care Units.* This is around 8% of all births.**

The Charter outlines the support employers should offer above existing statutory requirements for staff whose baby or babies are born prematurely:

  • Extend leave – for parents and partners who have a premature baby (before 37 weeks’ gestation) by the number of days a baby is born prior to their due date. This extended leave will be at full pay.
  • Support parents returning to work – consider formal and informal flexible working patterns and offering additional paid or unpaid leave.

One pillar of our six core values, THRIVE, at the Trust is Valuing People, which extends to our colleagues, alongside our patients and carers and we continue to work to create a culture where we look after each other’s wellbeing.

To reflect this, our Human Resources department alongside our Union representatives from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and UNISON, championed to get this initiative in place to support the unique needs of our employees who may be affected.

Angela Doak, Director of Human Resources and signatory to the Chartermark said “It is so important for new parents to feel supported at such a critical time for them and their newborn child – this is just one small thing that the Trust can do for our employees to show them that we support them and that they are valued.”


Employer with Heart Chartermark


  • * Bliss (2023) Statistics about Neonatal Care
  • ** Office for National Statistics. (2013) Pregnancy and ethnic factors influencing births and infant mortality.