Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has supplied a new high tech incubator to the neonatal intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary

Article written by Mark Lavery, Yorkshire Evening Post, Friday 27th November

Every year the neonatal unit cares for around 1,600 premature and seriously ill babies, including around 150 suffering from significant heart conditions.

Before they are moved to the congenital heart unit they stay on the neonatal intensive care unit until they have gained enough weight to have the best chance for successful heart surgery.

Paediatric teams from both units work together to ensure the babies receive the best care.

The new incubator, which was provided thanks to generous donations to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) by local Trusts and Foundations, is the latest in neonatal technology.

The Trusts & Foundations who supported the Baby Leo were:

  • The Annandale Charitable Trust
  • Green Hall Foundation
  • The Michael Cornish Charitable Trust
  • Next plc
  • P F Charitable Trust
  • The Tony Bramall Charitable Trust

It is built and designed around the needs of the family and baby and will ensure the best possible care and chances of survival for babies with heart, and other conditions from across the region.

Dr Lawrence Miall, consultant neonatologist at the Leeds Centre for Newborn Care, said:

All the staff and consultants on the Leeds Children’s Hospital Neonatal Unit are incredibly grateful to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund for their recent purchase of a Draeger ‘BabyLeo’ incubator.


This new piece of equipment is a high tech incubator which allows us to provide the best thermal and developmental environment for preterm babies and some smaller babies with congenital heart disease whilst they are receiving intensive care.


In the Leeds neonatal intensive care unit we care for a large number of babies with complex congenital heart disease, alongside our cardiology and cardiac surgical colleagues.


This incubator allows us to prepare them for surgery in the best environment, so that they can put their energies into growing rather than into keeping warm.


This will improve their outcomes from surgery. The hybrid incubator offers a number of state of the art features, especially the ability to nurse the baby with the lid open or closed, depending on what procedures are being performed, whilst maintaining the correct temperature.


It can be personalised with the baby’s name and with different coloured soothing lights.


This new Baby Leo is especially important at this time as some of our hybrid incubators are getting quite old, and due to Covid 19, all new babies admitted have to be admitted into an incubator rather than a cot, until we know their Covid status.


We really appreciate all the fund raising that goes into making such a substantial donation and would like to thank all the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund supporters.

Senior sister Catherine Livingstone, said:

The new Baby Leo is extremely valuable to our unit, they are more up to date and have some wonderful features.


This makes it more user friendly for the nursing staff to operate and they can also be personalised on the screen which is lovely touch for the parents.


This incubator is very adaptable as it has many modifications for the tiny premature baby, or a bigger cardiac baby requiring full intensive care or a surgical baby recovering after theatre.

Sharon Milner, chief executive officer of Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, said:

We are incredibly grateful to the funders who helped to finance this amazing hi-tech incubator.


We know it will make a positive, life-saving difference to the outcomes of critically-ill babies with congenital heart disease for years to come.

The Leeds-based CHSF provides vital funding to support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, at LGI, in becoming a world class centre of excellence for children and adults with congenital heart disease.

This year, as the charity sets itself the impressive fundraising target of £1m, the YEP is issuing a clarion call to Leeds residents to Have A Heart and help back its bid.

The charity has helped the unit by footing bills for life-saving medical equipment, parent accommodation, vital ward resources, staff training, scientific research and new clinical roles.

To donate: visit to give a one-off donation or to set up a regular, direct debit donation.

Or pay cheques to: Children’s Heart Surgery Fund at Suite D17, Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds, LS3 1AB