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Members of our neonatal team talking

The neonatal unit sits within the division of Women’s Health and Paediatrics, and we have close links with our maternity colleagues to provide a perinatal service for families; from conception to birth and beyond

 

Divisional Leadership

Divisional Director: Dr Samantha Edwards
Director of Midwifery: Toby Cooper
Head of Nursing, Paediatrics, and Neonates: Lorraine Tinker
Associate Director of Operations: Riyadh Seeboa

 

Leads for the Neonatal Unit

Clinical Lead: Dr Vennila Ponnusamy
Matron: Sara Jane Robertson

 

The medical care for your baby will be supervised by one of our Consultant Neonatologists. Neonatology is a subspecialty of paediatrics that consists of the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborn.

 

Consultants

  • Dr Saer Almeree (Paediatrician with cardiology expertise, Guidelines Lead)
  • Dr Alexandra Briscoe, Lead for FIC and Milk Bank
  • Dr Sherif Dabbour
  • Dr Daisy Dunn
  • Dr Samantha Edwards (Divisional Director)
  • Dr Susan Heggarty (Transport Lead)
  • Dr Tracy Lawson (Clinical Governance Lead, Deputy College Tutor,)
  • Dr Jennifer McGrath (Mortality Lead, Simulation)
  • Dr Tosin Otunla (Paediatrician with Expertise in Cardiology)
  • Dr Vennila Ponnusamy (Specialty and Infection Control Lead)
  • Dr Peter Reynolds (Research Lead)
  • Dr Aarti Verma
  • Dr Lambri Yianni

Your named consultant will be the doctor attending at the time of your admission He or she will be responsible for the overall medical care of your baby and will meet with you at regular intervals, including follow up after discharge when it is needed. The consultants work in rotation to be the attending consultant a week at a time. The consultants work as a close team to ensure continuity of care for your baby.

 

All of the neonatologists are supported by a team of doctors including an Associate Specialist, Specialist registrars, Clinical Fellows, Senior House Officers (SHO's), Foundation Doctors and Advanced Neonatal Nurses Practitioners who provide the daily medical care. We are a recognised training unit for medical and nursing students, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners; junior doctors in paediatric postgraduate training, and higher specialist training in neonatology.

 

Members of the Team

 

Sisters

  • Alice D'Souza
  • Maria Jose-Beale
  • Celia Low
  • Erica Marques
  • Sophie Maxwell
  • Sarah Ord
  • Helen Reid
  • Debbie Smith

 

Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

  • Gemma Finch
  • Emily Kemmish
  • Stephanie Osler
  • Amy Smith
  • Vanessa Sturt 

 

Our matron Sara Jane Robertson with the support of her senior sisters leads a large team of specially trained neonatal nurses and nursery nurses caring for your baby 24 hours a day. The nurse in charge each shifts wears a large yellow badge. If you have any concerns please bring them to the attention of the nurse in charge or alternately please contact the matron.

Your baby's nurse will change depending on shift patterns and your baby's needs. The allocated nurse will introduce herself each day. She will be able to fully update you when you visit and answer any questions you may have.

 

The NICU Therapies Team

We work as part of the multidisciplinary team to support your baby’s development in the Neonatal Unit. We will do our best to introduce ourselves to you while you are with us, but here are our details so you know who we are, and how best to get in touch with us if you’d like to speak to us.

 

Physiotherapy

We can provide early assessment and advice for you about how your baby is developing and moving. We may advise you on ways that you can help encourage your baby`s movements. We also provide advice on how you can help your baby day to day through touch and positioning. We will support you and your baby with developmental play ideas that are appropriate for their stage as he or she grows. We are also able to offer a management plan for any baby who may benefit from a respiratory physiotherapy intervention.

Linda Berwick

Linda Berwick
Physiotherapist

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
9am - 2pm

Bella Series

Bella Series
Physiotherapist

Tuesday and Wednesday 8-4pm
Thursday 8 - 12pm

 

Dietician

My focus is to ensure that the nutritional needs of your baby are met during this important stage when growth is fastest and needs are greatest. My role is to develop a nutritional care plan that takes into consideration their nutritional requirements, the breast milk or formula they are receiving , any medications being given and any other their nutritional needs. I provide advice about growth and all aspects of infant feeding. When your baby is ready to move from tube feeding I will advise and support you to succeed with your choice of breastfeeding or bottle feeding with the necessary supplements to support your baby’s growth and development.

Catherine Casewell

Catherine Casewell
Dietitian

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8.30 - 4.30pm

 

Speech and Language

When I meet your baby I assess their sucking and swallowing and look to see if your baby is showing signs of ‘readiness’ to feed. If it is too soon for oral feeding, I can provide advice on positive touch and non-nutritive sucking opportunities, which will help your baby move on to oral feeding when he or she is ready. If your baby is already feeding orally but finding it a challenge, I will assess them and provide strategies to help them feed more successfully. I can advise on weaning onto solids when your baby is ready to do this. I also love to support parents get to know their babies and can provide activities that support their communication development

Gemma Borkowski

Gemma Borkowski
Speech & Language Therapist

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
7 - 2pm

 

Neonatal Community Outreach Team (NCOT)

Neonatal Community Outreach Team

NCOT is a team of both nurses and nursery nurses who support parents and their baby through the process of preparing for discharge from NICU and to also support the parents at home following discharge.

NCOT also run a multi-disiplinary clinic once a week where parents can bring their baby back to see health professionals if required.

NCOT will usually visit once a week, but more if required. They aim to see the baby until the first outpatient appointment, which is usually 6-8 weeks after discharge from NICU. If the baby requires longer term community care we will transfer their care over to the Children's Community Nurses (CCN's) who will continue to look after the baby's needs.

  • 01932 723674
  • 07879 425140

 

Little Treasures - Post Discharge Support Group

The chance to meet and share experiences with parents / carers who have experienced time in NICU / SCU with their premature or poorly baby. Download the poster.

Where?

Clarendon Family Centre, Knapp Road, Ashford, Middlesex, TW15 2HZ
01784 424759

When?

The last Thursday of every month 2pm-3.30pm

Dates for 2023

  • 14th December

Dates for 2024

  • 25th January
  • 29th February
  • 28th March
  • 25th April
  • 30th May
  • 27th June
  • 25th July
  • 29th August
  • 26th September
  • 31st October
  • 28th November
  • 19th December

 

Neonatal Community Outreach Team: 07879 425140

 

Spiritual Support

A Chaplin is normally available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Our unit Chaplain visits weekly and is available for emotional support regardless of religion. If you wish to have a visit from your own Priest or faith leader and you do not have contact details please let the hospital Chaplin know. Our chaplains can get in touch with your local faith representative for you

At St. Peter’s we have a Multi-Faith Centre, which is open to everyone, is on Level 3 by the Duchess of Kent entrance. The Centre is open from 8.00am - 6.00pm each day. Security staff will unlock it at other times if needed. The Centre includes a Chapel, a Multi-Faith Prayer Room, a Quiet Room and an Ablutions Room for the use before prayer of those whose practice it is to observe ritual washing.

  • Chaplin - 01932 723324

 

Parent Support on the Neonatal Unit at St Peter’s Hospital

Most parents describe a feeling of their world having been turned upside down when their baby is admitted to NICU. This journey is likely to be like no other you will have experienced, and of course your baby needs you above everything. You may find that speaking to your baby about all that is going on may help him or her to cope better with what is happening. This might seem extraordinary that one so young can be helped by talking. It may also help you and your partner, or those closest to you to talk together about what is happening. The unit offers emotional support to parents.

 

Fiona England
Family Care Coordinator
Available to offer support and is based on NICU Monday to Thursday.
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Catherine Taylor
Perinatal Therapist
Available to offer support, including teaching baby massage, on Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Dr Jane Lowe
Child Psychotherapist
Available to offer support on Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

Catherine and Jane are contactable by speaking with your baby’s nurse or the nurse in charge.

 

Other staff

You may meet other members of the Neonatal Team who include:

  • Birth reflections counsellor
  • Hearing team
  • Little Roo Charity team
  • Neonatal Equipment Engineers
  • Neonatal Receptionist
  • Neonatal Transport Personnel
  • Neonatal Unit Housekeeping Team
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Paediatric Pharmacist
  • Perinatal midwife
  • Radiographer
  • Radiologist
  • Research Team
  • Safeguarding midwife
  • Ward Assistants

 

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