Special Care Baby Unit
We provide neonatal care for babies equal to 31 weeks gestation and over, or birth weight of 1000g or more. We have 10 cots which consist of 4 high dependency incubators and 6 special care cots.
If babies require more intensive care we will support them until transfer to a specialist centre can be arranged. We are part of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Operational Delivery Network (KSS ODN).
We have a team of specially trained neonatal nurses consisting of an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Sisters, Staff Nurses, Nursery Nurses and Clinical Neonatal Support Workers caring for your baby 24 hours a day. We also have a team of doctors including Paediatric Consultants, Associate Specialists, Specialist Registrars, Advanced Clinical Practitioners and junior doctors. The medical care for your baby will be supervised by one of our Paediatric Consultants. You might meet other staff members who will/may help care for your baby. They include: Paediatric Pharmacists, Paediatric Physiotherapists, Dieticians, Ophthalmologists, Radiographers, Maternity Support Workers, Hearing Screen technicians, Feeding support advisors and Midwives.
The majority of babies are admitted to Nursery 1 for initial assessment and management. Any baby requiring high dependency or intensive care will be looked after in this room. Nursery 2 is the special care nursery where babies are cared for when they no longer require intensive support and when they need to grow and establish oral feeds prior to discharge. We have two rooms for babies returning to the unit from other hospitals.
We recognise that having your baby admitted to SCBU can be worrying. Although your baby is in need of medical and nursing care, you are a very important part of their life. The SCBU team wish you to feel close to your baby, and therefore we encourage you to be with your baby for as long as, and often as you wish. We encourage skin-to-skin cuddles with both parents.
Where possible, we encourage mothers to be with their baby at all times. Once you have been discharged from the maternity ward, we have a comfortable chair next to your baby’s cot that converts into a bed. We will provide bed linen and blankets during your stay. We will also provide breakfast whilst you are staying-in with your baby. Lunch and dinner are not provided once you are discharged from the postnatal ward. We ask that you bring in food with you.
We encourage you to participate in the care of your baby as much as possible, e.g. Feeding, nappy changing, and top and tail washing. The nursing staff will support and assist you in caring for your baby. In order to do these cares, we will ask you to provide cotton wool balls and nappies.
If mum has been discharged from maternity ward and baby remains on SCBU, we provide parents a self-testing kit for coronavirus using a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) –this is done twice a week. Please call the unit with results and log result onto portal. For negative results, parents can come to the unit as planned. Parents are advised not to visit SCBU if you have positive result. A PCR test will be arranged for you.
One parent can stay overnight and the other parent may visit between 8am-8pm daily, subject to the activity on the unit
Level G, opposite St. Catherine’s Ward.