HOSPITAL fundraisers have called on Swindonians to help raise the remaining £36,000 needed to buy two final state-of-the-art baby incubators.

Generous donors have already given more than £213,000 to Brighter Futures' special care baby unit incubator campaign, meaning eight of the life-saving pieces of kit have been bought for Great Western Hospital.

Now, Brighter Futures have called for the town's help to replace the final two ageing incubators with the brand new BabyLeo items. They want to raise £250,000.

Cat Newman, head of fundraising at the Swindon hospital charity, said: "We've been delighted with the progress of the appeal. We didn't ever imagine we'd get enough for over five incubators. To get to eight was incredible."

She said a set of prematurely-born triplets were among the first to use the three additional incubators. "That, for us, made getting the eight even more worthwhile," said Cat. "That's spurred us on to think, 'How many more children can we help if we can get the extra two incubators?'"

The new incubators, made by German firm Drager, have large, removable side walls to allow parents to get closer to and even cradle their new baby while he or she lies on a heated cushion. An audio jack means the baby can be played the sound of their mothers voice or heartbeat.

Dr Sarah Bates, a consultant with SCBU, said: “The Drager Babyleo incubators really do provide specialist care for our babies, creating a developmental care environment that mimics the womb.

"Access for clinical procedures is so much better, and it’s great that we no longer have to switch on the main lights at night time when examining or doing a procedure for a baby, the spotlights are a great addition to the incubators."

At an event on Tuesday night, doctors personally thanked around 80 people who had given to the SCBU appeal.

Dr Bates said: “It was wonderful, and very emotional, to hear from families whose babies have been cared for in the new incubators. The original goal was to try to raise funds for five new incubators, and we were amazed to have eight BabyLeos arrive in March. The three extra incubators came in very useful recently, when we had premature triplets on the unit.

“I remain, as always, so proud of the whole neonatal team. On behalf of the team, the babies we care for and their parents, I want to thank every single fundraiser who has helped to make this happen. We are so grateful for all the fundraising that continues – every little bit will help."

Mum Amie Turner, 19, gave birth to Lillie-Rose at GWH last year. Her baby, now eight months, was cared for by SCBU nurses.

She said of the new BabyLeo kit: "The new incubators will help new parents to see and have contact with their baby at any time. We will all keep coming together to raise more money to replace all of the incubators.”