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About the Unit

There are 3 level of neonatal care within the NHS.

  • Level 1 is for babies who need continuous monitoring of their breathing or heart rate, additional oxygen, tube feeding, phototherapy and convalescence from other care.
  • Level 2 is for babies needing short-term intensive care with apnoeic attacks who require support, including receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) Some babies receiving parenteral nutrition (tube feeding) may also need this level of care.
  • Level 3 Is for babies needing respiratory support (ventilation) weighing less than 1,000g, born at less than 28 weeks gestation and needing significant CPAP support. Babies with severe respiratory disease who also require surgery may need this level of care too.

At St Peter's Hospital we are a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit


We have 4 nurseries on our unit:

  • Room 1 - Intensive care which has 8 cots.
  • Room 1A - Intensive care can accommodate up to 4 intensive care cots
  • Room 2 - Special Care with 6 cots
  • Room 3 - Can accommodate up to 10 babies

We also have a transitional care unit with 8 cots situated on the Joan Booker Postnatal ward.

In our Intensive care and high dependency rooms we care for babies who are very small or premature and also term babies who are unwell and need close observation.


Intensive Care (IC) and High Dependency (HD)

Most of the babies in IC will be looked after in an incubator often with a number of wires attached to a monitor. This is so that we can observe your baby closely whilst keeping him or her warm without disturbing them too much. Your baby's nurse can explain more about what these do and how we use them.

Usually there will be one nurse caring for 2 babies. However sometimes a baby may require 1-1 nursing.


Special Care (SC)

Being classed as special care (SC) indicates that a baby is progressing well but still requires care in hospital. Babies are establishing feeding and continuing to grow whilst being observed. In SC we have nurses and nursery nurses who are experts in supporting parents in becoming confident caring for their baby. The nurses will demonstrate how you can do various things, from changing nappies to giving feeds.

The nurses may be looking after 4 or 5 SC babies at a time. During their stay in SC you will still have the opportunity to meet with your baby's doctors on a regular basis.


Transitional Care Unit (TCU)

The transitional care unit (TCU) is situated on the Joan Booker Ward. Babies may be admitted straight to TCU, or transferred from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) when they no longer require close observation. TCU has some facilities for you to stay in hospital with your baby so that you can establish feeding and really get to know your baby well before going home.

TCU is supervised by nurses and nursery nurses from the neonatal unit and you will still have the opportunity to meet with the doctors on a daily basis.


Maternity Numbers

Surrey Heartlands Pregnancy Advice Line
0300 123 5473

Ante-natal Clinic
01932 722389

Maternity Appointments
01932 722366

Joan Booker Ward
01932 722291

Neonatal Ward
01932 722667

Ultrasound Queries
01932 722665

Visiting Times

Joan Booker Ward (Antenatal and Postnatal)

08.00hrs - 22.00hrs for partners only

13.00hrs - 20.00hrs for all other visitors. No more than 3 visitors at a time.

Children under 16 cannot visit at any time unless they are the brother/sister of the new baby


Labour Ward Visiting Hours

Partner allowed anytime

In labour a maximum of two birthing partners.

For all other visitors - visiting times are 2-4pm, 6-8pm. Only two visitors at a time during this period.

Children under the age of 16 are not able to visit unless they are siblings.

This is to improve patient safety, reduce infection risks, maintain a lean environment and to allow families quiet time to bond with their baby.