Our Neonatal Unit is a Level two neonatal unit with 12 cots in total, three critical care cots and nine special care cots. This is occasionally subject to change dependent upon staffing levels on the unit and also the dependency of the babies.
- Babies are admitted to the unit from 27 weeks to 40+ weeks’ gestation for a variety of reasons
- Babies admitted under 27 weeks gestation or weighing less than 800g may be stabilised and then transferred to a Level three Neonatal Unit
The unit is divided into three main areas, the intensive care room, the main nursery and four side cubicles.
Most babies will be admitted into the intensive care area and may then be nursed in different areas of the unit according to their condition and reason for admission.
- Nurses who have experience with specific qualifications and training in caring for preterm or sick newborn babies.
- Experienced Nursery Nurses who are crucial in supporting families to care for their babies and transition to home.
- Consultants with a specialist interest in Neonatology that provide ward round cover.
- Advanced Neonatal Nurse practitioners make up a core part of the medical workforce for the Neonatal Unit and are available on the unit daily.
We have a daily ward round from 9.00 am onwards and families are encouraged to participate in ward rounds as part of their child’s care team.
Baby Rest Time
We encourage a quiet time from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm and to support your baby's developmental care needs, we encourage minimal noise levels at all other times.
Talking to the Medical Team
Your baby will be reviewed by the medical team as part of the daily ward round. During this
time, you will have the opportunity to discuss your baby’s care and progress with the team.
If this time is not convenient for you, please speak to the nurse in charge who can arrange a
separate meeting for you to discuss your baby’s care.
Who to talk to if you have any concerns
Please speak to either the nurse looking after your baby, the nurse in charge, the matron of
the unit or any member of the medical team.
We have open visiting for parents, with supported visiting for siblings and staff available to offer advice to support siblings that are visiting.
Open visiting is from 9am until 9pm for other visitors (over 16 years only unless a sibling).
A maximum of 3 identified visitors per family. No visitors under the age of 16 (except siblings). Only parents are to hold and touch babies while they are in an incubator. Currently, visitors need to be parents and grandparents unless agreed by the Senior Matron/Lead Nurse in line with infection control prevention.
Mobile Phone Use
It is important that telephone calls are made off the unit in the public areas of the hospital as this helps to reduce noise levels, which babies can find stressful. Mobile phones can be used to take photos of your baby.
The Neonatal Unit coffee room has a fridge and kettle. Parents can use the fridge to store their own food. Tea and coffee or juice are provided free of charge for parents and their siblings. When using the fridge please label any food with your name and date. Parents are expected to wash all crockery after use to ensure that clean supplies are available for other parents. To prevent injuries, hot drinks must not be consumed at the cot side.
We have books, games and DVDs for siblings to enjoy whilst on the unit – please speak to the nurse caring for your baby. We also have juice available for drinks in the parent’s room.
We have 2 bedrooms available with shared bathroom facilities for parents to use prior to discharge. If your baby is very unwell you may also be asked if you wish to stay to be closer during this critical time. We also have residency accommodation if parents live far away with attached bathroom and catering facilities.
We have breast pumps available on the unit for expressing and these can be loaned (free of charge) to use until your baby is discharged. It is important that breast pumps are returned promptly when your baby is discharged or when the pump is no longer needed.
If you choose to bottle feed your baby, the nursing staff will show you how to make up feeds safely. We recommend that you bring in the bottles your baby will use at home so your baby can get used to these before they go home.
The Parent Support Group meets 5 times per year on a Saturday morning and has a variety of speakers at the meetings. Posters advertising these meetings are displayed in the parent sitting room. The unit has Bliss Parent Supporters who visit the unit; they have personal experience of being the parent of a pre-term baby who has been admitted to the Neonatal Unit.
Please ask the nurse caring for your baby for the dates and times that the support will be on the unit. Please enquire regarding local support available to you within the Neonatal Unit. Additional Parent Support can be accessed on the Bliss website.
Religious & Spiritual Support
There is a Chapel in the main concourse which is open 24 hours a day.
We have access to Talking Therapies – Telephone Number 0300 555 5582 and the Chaplaincy Team. Please ask for an information leaflet on the Neonatal Unit.
We have access to Talking Therapies – Telephone Number 0300 555 5582. Please ask for an information leaflet.