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This ward is located on the ground floor
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for you. Having your baby admitted to the Neonatal Unit is always a bit of a shock. Whether your baby is born prematurely or needs neonatal care for another reason, it is always helpful to find out as much information as you can. Having a good understanding of what care your baby requires will also help you cope with this difficult situation.
This information is a guide for all parents and families, to help you through your baby’s journey on the Neonatal Unit, to give you a better understanding of the situation you are in and to try a make a very stressful time a little easier.
We are a Level 2 Neonatal Unit in the Eastern Region and we provide Intensive care, High Dependency, Special Care and Transitional Care to premature and sick newborn babies. We have 2 Intensive Care cots, 3 High Dependency cots and 13 Special Care cots.
We have an Intensive Care/High Dependency nursery, a Special Care nursery and 2 separate isolation cubicles.
We encourage you, as new parents, to be fully involved in the care of your baby from the start. The goal of family integrated care is to create a partnership between you and the neonatal nurses.
We encourage you to spend extended periods of time with your baby on the unit, interacting with your baby, gaining knowledge, skills and confidence, so that you can be fully involved in the care of your baby.
As parents, you are the most important people in the care of your baby. Your baby will greatly benefit from your care and attention, and as you grow more and more confident in the Neonatal Unit environment, we will encourage you to participate more and more in your baby’s care, gradually reducing our nursing supervision.
Your baby will be cared for by our dedicated team of professionals specialized in the care of the neonate:
Staff will introduce themselves to you day by day.
Your baby will be allocated to a consultant on admission to the Neonatal Unit who will follow your baby’s journey and keep you updated on your baby’s progress.
Every morning and evening, a nurse will be assigned to your baby to assist you in taking care of your baby, and to help you with anything you may need. The nurse will keep you up to date with any plans or changes in care and are there to help and support you at all times. If there is anything at all that you do not understand or you are worried about, do not hesitate to ask.
We have a wider Multi-Disciplinary Team who visit the ward:
Student nurses and midwives come to work on placement as part of their training and student doctors may attend to observe and learn.
All hospital staff wear a uniform and an identity badge.
There is a photo board at the entrance of the unit to introduce you to all of the staff on our ward.
Ward rounds are carried out every morning and are led by a consultant or an experienced registrar. We encourage you to be involved in this discussion about your baby’s care. This is also an opportunity for you to ask the doctors any questions you may have.
We ask that you wear headphones whilst the team are seeing other babies (or leave the nursery), to respect the privacy of the other babies and their families. This also applies during nursing handover between 7.30-08.00 am and 7.30-8.00 pm.
If you wish to speak to a doctor at any other time, please ask a member of staff.
It is important that you are involved in your baby’s care as early as possible. In order to promote an environment that is beneficial to your baby’s development, we aim to keep noise levels as low as possible. We have a protected quiet time on the unit between 2pm and 4pm to encourage rest. It is important for your baby to rest, as he or she needs to save energy in order to grow and become stronger. Long periods of rest are encouraged between care and feeds, especially if your baby is having procedures done.
The nursing team will teach you how to comfort your baby with containment holding. You will find that your baby calms very quickly. You will also be encouraged to have skin-to-skin or kangaroo care with your baby. This is an extremely positive experience for both you and your baby.
We use positioning aids in the cot or incubator to support your baby in the correct position for good development. If you need help or advice about the positioning aids, just speak to the nurse looking after your baby.
Whilst your baby is on the Neonatal Unit, you are expected to provide nappies, cotton wool and cotton buds for use in your baby’s care. You are also required to provide clothing once your baby is nursed in a cot.
You may place a blanket and one pre-washed soft toy in your baby’s incubator or cot – please take these home to wash at least once a week.
If your baby is bottle feeding you will need to provide bottles (the unit has sterilising tanks). Please bring in your own bottles as early as possible so that your baby can get used to the teats.
Whichever way you choose to feed your baby we will support your decision. We would, however, stress that breast milk is the best for your baby, and even if you are not planning to breast feed in the long term, it would benefit your baby to receive your milk in the short term.
Please ask your baby’s nurse for help if you need any support with feeding your baby.
We have information leaflets available on your chosen method of feeding and there is also information in the parent information folders located in the kitchen.
This ward is located on the ground floor
Please note: Lunch on this ward is a protected meal time. This is so we can make sure that our patients get the time and support they need to eat their meal.
We have space on the Unit for up to 8 mothers to stay at any one time. Our parent bay has 6 beds for mothers and we have 2 single parent rooms where mothers and partners can stay together.
We do have to prioritise these rooms depending on the needs of the babies, we may need you to move out of the room so that we can move another parent in.
Meals are provided for mothers who are staying on the unit. Breakfast is available in the parent kitchen. The lunch and dinner menu is brought to the unit each morning for you to order your meals. The meals are delivered to the Unit at noon and 5pm. In the parent kitchen there is a fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle so that you can prepare your own meals and snacks if you prefer.
The baby feeding room is behind the reception desk for you to express breast milk or to feed your baby in privacy. We have electric breast pumps that you can use to express and a kit will be provided for you.
The milk kitchen is opposite the feeding room. There is a fridge and freezer to store your breast milk. Tanks for sterilising are provided by the Unit but you need to provide your own bottles. It is the responsibility of the parent to change the sterilising tank solution daily.
The Quiet Room is used for sensitive discussions between consultants, doctors, nurses and parents or for you to have some alone time with your family. It should not be used as a general sitting area. There are books and toys in the Quiet Room for the baby’s siblings to play with. Please do not leave your children unattended.
We have an open access policy for parents and siblings on the Neonatal Unit so that you can be with your baby whenever you wish. We may ask you to leave the nursery when sensitive information about another baby is discussed, but we keep these times to an absolute minimum.
All other family and friends are only permitted during visiting hours. All visitors should be accompanied by one of the baby’s parents, unless you have completed a parent care plan giving other people permission to visit without you being present.
There is a security system in place which requires everyone entering and leaving the Unit to request access. You will be asked for your name and your baby’s 4-digit hospital number for added security.
The Unit’s doors are secured and monitored by CCTV. Please be careful not to let anyone in with you who you do not know.
We have a well-equipped playroom and a schoolroom with adjacent outside soft play.
The Neonatal Lead Nurse is
The Neonatal Lead Clinician is
The Paediatric Critical Care Lead Nurse is
The Paediatric Critical Care Lead Clinician is
The Surgery in Children Lead Nurses are
The Surgery in Children Lead Clinician is