Areas within the Unit
The Unit has three main areas: Intensive Care, High Dependency Care and Low Dependency Care. We ask that you wash your hands each time that you, and also any visitors who may, visit your baby.
If you need help at all during your time on the Unit, please ask a member of staff.
Feeding your special baby
Staff will support and advise you on your chosen feeding method, whether it is breast or bottle feeding. Currently on the Neonatal Unit we are following the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative standards. Please see ‘Feeding your baby’ section for more information.
For those mothers who wish to express their breastmilk, you are welcome to use our expressing room. Although cot-side expressing is encouraged, some Mum’s do need to take ‘time out’ from the nursery and may find expressing in the expressing room more comfortable. It is also a place where friendships are often made with other Mum’s currently on the unit.
When visiting your baby on the unit, we advise that you use our hospital grade breast pumps. For home use, we advise that you either purchase or hire a breast pump. We also have a small number that we can loan out.
A parent’s room is available to use when visiting your baby on the unit. You’ll find some refreshments as well as tea & coffee making facilities here. There is also a fridge and a microwave for you to use should you wish to bring something in from home. Snack packs are also provided on a daily basis for parents.
When siblings visit the Neonatal Unit there are also a small number of toys and book available to help keep them occupied.
Rooming In Room
We have a ‘Rooming In’ room situated opposite the Neonatal Unit. When your baby begins to take more breast or bottle feeds, we encourage parents to stay overnight so that you can feed your baby throughout the day and night as this helps develop confidence as parents.
Towards the end of your baby’s stay on the unit, we recommend parents ‘room in’; this is so that you can get to know what it is like to have your baby with you at night. Taking your baby home is an exciting and huge milestone but it can also be an anxious time for parents, ‘rooming in’ can help relieve some anxieties and answer any unanswered questions you may have.
Please keep your mobile phones switched to silent when visiting. We occasionally allow video calls to be made to other family members who cannot visit your baby. This has to be done at a time when privacy and confidentiality of others on the unit can be maintained and only if the Nurse looking after your baby gives you permission. If you do need to answer your phone whilst visiting, please step outside the Nursery.
We kindly ask that you limit the use of your phone when visiting your baby, it is an opportunity for you to bond, enjoy cuddles, talk, sing and read to your baby which helps their brain development.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, parents are only allowed to visit.
For our normal visiting restrictions, please see below; Parents may visit at any time. Other family members and friends must visit between 3.00 pm and 8.00 pm. Only your own children may visit, due to the risk of infection. One parent must be present at all times when other family members or friends are visiting.
The direct telephone line to the neonatal Unit will be given to parents when their baby is admitted. This line must only be used by parents and should not be given to anyone else.
There is a chapel situated in the Esher Wing. We have chaplains that are able to speak with you and see your baby if you wish for them to do so. Please ask a member of staff for more details.
For safety reasons, children must not be left without adult supervision.
There is a parents toilet on the unit.
Where to Eat & Refreshments
Below is a list of the various places you can buy food & drink within the hospital;
The restaurant can be found on Level 2 of the Kingston Surgical Centre and serves hot and cold food and drinks and snacks.
The restaurant is open from 7am to 3pm every day.
Costa Coffee Shop
Hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks can also be purchased from Costa located in the main entrance of Bernard Meade Wing. Costa is open:
Monday to Friday 7am – 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am – 8pm
Closed on bank holidays
Costa Coffee can be found at the main entrance of the hospital where there is also a comfortable seating area. There is a League of Friends shop, just inside the main entrance of Bernard Meade Wing, where you can purchase chocolates, biscuits, magazines and papers. You can purchase flowers in the Restaurant.
There are also various vending machines situated around the hospital.
Cold water can be found adjacent and as mentioned previously; tea & coffee making facilities are situated in the parent’s room. Please be mindful when drinking hot drinks if there are siblings in the parent’s room. Unfortunately, hot drinks cannot be consumed in the nurseries due to health & safety.