Parents are not visitors and have unrestricted access to their baby on NICU
They are a key part of their baby's care team. Not only does this have benefits for babies, but the whole family. This involvement has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in parents, and improve bonding and attachment.
Evidence is clear that babies have the very best outcomes when their parents are able to be partners in delivering their baby's care. Research has shown babies cared for in this way have increased weight gain and improved breastfeeding rates, and some studies have even shown that babies may go home from hospital earlier.
Meeting New Brothers and Sisters
Having a sibling in neonatal care can be an incredibly stressful time for a child. The disruption in routine, the financial, physical, and emotional strain on the family can evoke a strong emotional response in siblings. It is important to involve your other children in what’s happening, and talking to them about how they, and you, are feeling.
We welcome siblings of the baby/ies on NICU between 10am-10pm every day.
All siblings need to be supervised by a parent at all times. When a sibling visits, a maximum of 3 people can stay at the cot side, depending on how busy the Nursery is at that time.
It is important that there is some preparation for what the environment will look like.
Take time to describe what the NICU looks like, talk about photos, and discuss the sensory environment. Describe what they will be able to do during the visit; the need to wash hands, how they may read a book, help with cares or hold their sibling.
Visitors of your choice are welcome to visit between 10am-10pm. We ask you to limit the number of peoples at the cot side to 2 people for short periods of time only.
Please explain to your family and friends that they may only visit with you and that we are unable to give them any information about your baby's condition.
However, we ask you, your children and any visitors NOT to come into the nursery if they have a cough, cold, tummy upset or other infections due to the risk of passing it on to your baby or others. Please discuss with the nurse in charge if you are unsure.
No other children (under the age of 16) except baby's siblings may visit.
Please note there may be times when you will be asked to vacate the Nursery, when more space is required to facilitate emergency procedures or there is reduced space. We ask that you respect such requests.
As part of our commitment to family-centred care, we have a period of quiet time each day in our nurseries. The neonatal unit can be a stressful environment for babies and their families.
Quiet time is from 12.30hrs - 14.30hrs daily unless otherwise noted by the staff. During this time you are encouraged to spend time with your baby. This can be a good time for you to have some quality time with your baby and have skin to skin time or just quiet cuddles. We suggest that you ask your visitors to avoid this special time. We recommend that this should be time just for you as parents, or parent and one other nominated visitor. Please feel free to discuss your individual needs with the nurse in charge.
During quiet time the blinds will be closed and the lights dimmed or turned off. Nurses will have planned routine cares for before and after this time and the medical staff will avoid unnecessary procedures at this point. The nursing staff will endeavour to cancel alarms as quickly as they can to avoid extra noise.
However, due to the nature of intensive care and unexpected admissions happening, there will be times where quiet time is postponed or suspended in order to prioritise and provide appropriate care in a nursery.
Please help us protect your baby by adhering to the following guidance:
- Parents and visitors please remove your coat / jacket and hang it on the clothes rail in the waiting area. Bags should be placed in a the lockers provided.
- We ask that all parents and visitors remove wrist watches and bracelets to help reduce the risk of infection.
- Prior to entering the clinical area, please disinfect your hands with alcohol hand sanitiser.
- You should disinfect / wash your hands again on entering the nurseries and prior to contact with your baby.
- Please clean you phone with alcohol wipes as directed by the posters in the nurseries and place in the green tray at your baby's cotside to dry.
- We ask that you do not come to NICU if you are unwell e.g., have a cough, cold or tummy bug.
We have made the decision that from Monday 17th 2023 face mask wearing for visitors, patients, and staff will no longer be a mandatory requirement in non-clinical areas of our hospitals.
Face masks will still be available in the main entrances of the hospitals, for those who would prefer to continue to wear face masks, and in clinical areas.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will update you with any further changes to our Infection Prevention and Control measures.
Thank you for your continued support.
David Fluck, Medical Director
Travelling to St Peter's
On our Trust webpages we have details on bus and train time tables. There is also a site map which shows the many car parks at St Peter's Hospital but they do get busy at certain times of the day. As with most hospitals there is a car parking charge. Payments should be made at a nearby machine. All parents who have a baby on the unit are entitled to parking concessions. Please talk to your nurse for further details Note that penalty charges may be enforced by the car parks management company.
If your baby has been admitted to the NICU or Transitional Care Unit you can apply for extended parking. Please buy a one off £25 weekly parking ticket and speak to the receptionist on NICU to extend your parking. You will be required to give details of your car registration and show your ticket as proof of purchase. This will then extend your parking for the duration of your stay until your baby has been discharged.
How to find us
The unit is located on the 4th Floor of Abbey Wing at St Peters Hospital
Postal Address is:
4th Floor Abbey Wing
St Peter’s Hospital
Access to the Unit
For security reasons, the doors to NICU are kept locked. During office hours please ring the buzzer for reception and when asked, state who you are and the name of the child you have come to visit. Out of these hours please ring the room buzzer your child is in.
Please respect the enormous efforts we make to protect all babies. NEVER allow people to enter the unit when we open the door to you, staff wearing a visible Ashford and St Peter's badge can be let through. All of our staff must wear an identity badge at all times.
If someone not wearing an identity badge approaches you or your child at any time, please check with a member of staff.
At night the maternity entrance is locked this is between 21.00hrs and 06.30hrs. If you wish to visit at night you will need to ring the doorbell to the right of the night door.