Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is based at St Peterís Hospital and is the only Level 3 Unit in Surrey. It has 24 Cots, 8 of which are for intensive care and 4 for high dependency, with the remaining 12 being special care.

St Peterís NICU is a leading unit for the Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Network.

The Unit also hosts the Neonatal Transport Team for the Surrey area of the Network, working closely with the Kent and Sussex network teams, retrieving and transporting sick babies.

The neonates, ranging from 23 weeks gestation to term, have complex needs which the clinical team meets, in a challenging work environment. Our current admission rate is in excess of 500 babies per year. Links with specialist units in London provide neonatal surgery, with babies transferred back for post operative care. The unit, set in a modern environment, with the latest in high tech equipment for treatment and monitoring purposes, and provides all modes of ventilation. Other newer developments include CFM monitoring, body cooling and Vapotherm therapy.

We have developed strong teams to provide Bereavement Support, Clinical Practice Education, Transitional Care, Transport, Developmental Care and Community Follow up.

The Unit also has a thriving Breast Milk Bank which enables extremely premature babies to receive pasteurized breast milk when their mothers are unable to produce adequate quantities. This avoids the use of formula milk which is less easily tolerated by these babies.

Parents are encouraged to visit and participate in the care of their baby, and the Gallagher Suite for parents enables them to stay on the unit prior to taking their baby home, or if their baby is seriously ill.

There are five Paediatric consultants specializing in neonates: Who together with their team of registrars and senior house officers provide 24-hour on-site cover.

The expert nursing team is made up of more than 60 dedicated staff. There is a high proportion of specialized nurses who possess the neonatal intensive care qualification, plus many other experienced neonatal nurses. A small number of Nursery Nurses also provide an important role within the team. The team is friendly, committed and supportive of its colleagues, whilst providing a high standard of neonatal care.

Clerical support and ward assistant coverage is provided 7 days a week.

The Unit has a strong commitment to staff development and training and encourages nurses to undertake the Neonatal Intensive Care course.

The Special Care Unit

The Special Care Unit for St. Peter’s Hospital

St. Peter’s Hospital is proud to announce a new 9 bed Special Care Unit for mothers and their babies. The new SCU is replacing the old 6 bed transitional care unit and will be part of, and managed by, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It will be staffed by neonatal nurses and led by Sister Therese Nursey.

Therese explains, “The aim of the SCU is to keep mother and baby together when the baby needs extra special care, for example when the baby is premature, needs monitoring, and/or requires IV fluids.” She continues, “Preventing separation of the mother and baby allows for quicker bonding, less anxiety, and establishes feeding faster. Subsequently this promotes earlier discharge, so less time is spent in hospital, and also prevents unnecessary admissions to the NICU.”

From Left to Right: Senior Nurse Louise Hall, Senior Nurse Rebecca Parson, Matron Audrey Elmore (who has now left) and Sister Therese Nursey.

The Special Care Unit at St. Peter’s is located on the first floor of Abbey Wing in the Joan Booker Ward. Admissions to the new unit can be either directly after delivery or babies who have previously received care in NICU and are nearly ready for discharge.

The new SCU has 6 beds for transitional care, 3 beds for special care babies with monitors and access to IV fluids, plus a treatment room for ward attendees where babies’ blood tests and doctor’s reviews can take place. The extra 3 beds for special care babies will release cot space on NICU for sicker babies.