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22 December 2017, 09:42
A new £1.5 million fund to help parents while their premature babies are in hospital is being launched.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said the money would be available from April 1 2018.
She said: "It will be done very easily and very smoothly through the neonatal units that the parents are attending.
"We want to make it as simple and as straightforward as possible so that parents are not out of pocket for the daily essentials of getting to and from the hospital where their baby is, and also for things like food and drink."
Labour MSP Mark Griffin, who campaigned for extra support for parents of premature babies after his daughter was born 12 weeks early, welcomed the new fund.
He said he and his wife spent close to £200 a week visiting his daughter in hospital and the main costs were travel, food, accommodation and childcare.
He said: "When we were in hospital there were so many families there that were in a real desperate situation.
"Some people were in tears because they knew they wouldn't see their baby the next day because they couldn't afford to get a taxi.
"It was a really terrible situation so I'm absolutely delighted that this fund has been announced."