What is the Neonatal Expenses Fund?
The Neonatal Expenses Fund was launched in Scotland on 1 April 2018. The aim of the fund is to provide financial assistance to parents and guardians whilst their baby is in neonatal care. The fund exists to help with travel and food expenses.
After campaigning by Bliss Scotland, the Scottish government recognised the importance of ensuring that parents have as much time as possible to bond with their baby. By easing the financial burden, it is hoped that parents will find it easier to spend more time with their baby whilst on the neonatal unit.
Who can make a claim?
Any parent or guardian of a baby on a neonatal unit from 1 April 2018 can claim. It does not matter how long the baby is in neonatal care or how much the parents of the baby earn.
The fund is available to parents with babies on NICUs, SCBUs and LNUs. It is not available for parents with babies in transitional care.
What expenses can I claim?
Expenses covered by the fund include:
- Up to 14p per mile for one return car journey each day per family
- Public transport costs will be reimbursed in full for one return journey per day per family. Standard class bus, train and ferry fares can be reclaimed upon production of receipts. Families living on the outlying islands of Scotland can claim up to two return journeys by air per week per family.
Parking and Tolls:
- Car parking and road tolls can be reclaimed in full on the submission of receipts. Some NHS Boards already provide permits for parents with babies in neonatal care – please speak to staff at your local hospital to find out whether a permit is available before asking for a refund.
Food and drink:
- Meal costs may be covered free of charge for one parent by the NHS Board. Please speak to staff at your local hospital to find out if you are eligible.
- For hospitals where this scheme is not in place, a reimbursement of up to £8.50 per day against food and non-alcoholic beverages can be claimed on production of receipts.
Can I make a claim for accommodation expenses?
It is not yet possible to make a claim for accommodation expenses (e.g. staying at a hotel). The Scottish Government will review the Neonatal Expenses Fund and Bliss Scotland hopes that these expenses will be covered by the Fund in future.
My baby has been readmitted to hospital. Can I claim expenses?
The Neonatal Expenses Fund only makes provisions for babies in neonatal care. It is best to speak to staff at the hospital to find out what financial support is available for you if you are now on the paediatrics ward.
What about England, Northern Ireland and Wales?
The Neonatal Expenses Fund in only available in Scotland. Find out more about the Fund and make a claim here.
If you live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales you can find other organisations who can offer financial support here
Bliss believes that parents across the whole of the UK should be entitled to the same financial support. If you agree, join our campaigns here