About special care baby units
NEONATAL UNIT /SPECIAL CARE BABY UNITS
Neonatal units or special care baby units in hospitals specialise in the care of babies born early, babies born with a low birth weight or who have a medical condition that requires specialised treatment.
Some babies may have an infection and need antibiotics; others may need breathing support/monitoring or may be suffering from other medical conditions. The length of a baby’s stay may vary from days to weeks or months, depending on their needs.
Attending a special care baby unit (SCBU) for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. The baby may be surrounded by colourful technology to help them breathe and monitor their progress. Your baby may be small and the equipment surrounding them to keep them warm, and to monitor their body functions, may appear a bit overwhelming at first.
Having a premature or sick baby can be scary, but all members of staff are there to help you as well as your baby.
We work hard to prevent the spread of infection in the unit, therefore all visitors to the unit are asked to please wash their hands using soap and water provided, followed by the antibacterial gel. We advise that young children should be assisted with hand washing.
In the unit, where possible, we use single, disposable items for the babies, but efficient hand washing remains the most important factor in the prevention of infection. For this reason only parents and siblings are encouraged to touch /hold vulnerable babies.
Parents and siblings of the baby can call or attend the unit at any time-although shift handover time is 0700-0730 and 1900-1930- and as this can be a busy time, there may be more opportunity out with those times to discuss your baby’s care/progress with staff.
Other visitors of the parents ‘choosing can visit between 1400-2000.Parents do not need to be present when family members/friends visit the unit, however from a security and confidentiality viewpoint; staff have to be informed of this as permission from parents is required otherwise access will be denied. Visitors may be asked to leave during handover times.
As space around cots/incubators is limited, and babies don’t like too much noise, we ask that only 2 visitors per cot space please to allow staff access in case of an emergency. Anyone with a cough, cold or viral infection is discouraged from visiting special care as the babies in the unit have low immunity.
PARENTS ROOMS(For rooming in )
Across the corridor from the family room are the 2 parents’ rooms.
All parents have the opportunity to ‘room in’ with their baby prior to being discharged home in one of the 2 parents’ rooms we have. This presents an opportunity (which we encourage) for parents to stay for a couple of nights before taking their baby home, this really helps boost parents’ confidence of taking care of their baby independently whilst at the same time knowing that help is available on the unit if needed.