I need help finding a place to stay near the hospital
If your baby is in hospital for a long time or at a hospital that is far from your home, it might really help to have a place to stay nearby.
This can help you save money on travel costs and might also help you be with them as much as you wish to be. Find out more below.
Many hospitals have free accommodation for parents or carers to stay overnight, which can provide a place for rest, showering and eating. Some will be on site at the hospital and some might be a short walking distance.
The type and amount of accommodation available varies at each hospital. You could try asking a member of staff on the unit - they will be used to these types of questions. If they don't know they may be able to suggest someone who might be able to help.
Accommodation may be provided directly through the hospital or by a local charity.
There is also a nationwide charity called Ronald McDonald House that provides accommodation close to Noah's Ark Children's Hospital in Cardiff. Some local charities or Ronald McDonald House can also provide day passes so you can use any facilities and have a place to cook even if there isn't space to stay overnight. To stay in one of the Ronald McDonald Houses, you must first ask the hospital to refer you.
What to expect from hospital accommodation
If you are able to find accommodation with the hospital, you are likely to find facilities that include a bathroom or shower room as well as places to prepare and cook food.
There are often places for older children to play, and some of the accommodation provided by other local charities allow other family members to visit to help provide you with the support network you need.
You'll also likely have free WiFi which may be helpful especially if you or any family members staying need to work remotely.
You'll be closer to your baby while they are staying in hospital on the neonatal unit, whilst also offering you a separate space to rest.
In any shared or communal areas you might also find peer support from meeting other families going through similar experiences.
You should be able to find out more about hospital accommodation on the hospital website or ask a staff member on the neonatal unit.
I don't feel hospital accommodation would be suitable for me
We understand that where you stay is a personal choice and you might feel for many reasons that hospital accommodation isn't suitable for you or your family.
If you're unsure you could ask to look around the hospital accommodation before you decide whether or not it is suitable.
There are other choices to consider too. It can be helpful to think about how much money staying closer to the unit might save. If you're saving money from daily travel expenses and food costs by having a kitchen you can put anything you save towards your accommodation costs.
The websites below might be useful places to start for searching for accommodation nearby. The staff on the unit might also be able to help you to find local organisations who help provide accommodation to families needing to be near hospital.
If you just need a few nights' accommodation it may be that the easiest solution is a budget hotel.
These chains have many hotels across Wales and there may be one that is close or dramatically reduces your travel time.
You could take a look at some of the options below.
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