Neonatal Care

If your baby needs a transfer   

Sometime babies will require a transfer to another hospital, neonatal units are used to moving babies and will support you through the process. You may wonder why a baby would need a transfer and below are a few common reasons: 

  • If your baby needs specialist care, surgery or equipment/medicines 
  • A transfer to a unit closer to home, the level of this unit will be determined against your baby’s needs. An example of this could be from a NICU to an LNU closer to home or if your baby still needs intensive care, a NICU closer to home. 
  • A transfer for an appointment with a specialist team, these are normally called an outpatient appointment. 
  • A transfer if the unit becomes full, also referred to as a capacity transfer. This is when there may not be enough cots or staff to care for another baby. 

Each transfer will be discussed with you as parents to ensure you fully understand the reasons for the transfer and how it is going to happen. Most transfers are undertaken by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and ambulance technicians, in their own specialised ambulances. These teams work across the London region and will support you during your baby’s transfer, by providing information and a seamless process, and for your baby the team are equipped to provide care at the same level to a neonatal intensive care unit. Your local hospital for neonatal care is normally determined by either your home or GP postcodes. If you find yourself in a neonatal unit further from your home, please ask your neonatal team for more information about your local neonatal units. 

The video below provides more information around repatriation. 

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This link will take you to the London Neonatal Transfer service website, where you can find out more information about London’s only neonatal transfers service. London NTS (london-nts.nhs.uk) 

Going home with your baby/babies

When it is time to go home with your baby, you may feel several different emotions. Elation and relief that your baby is well enough to leave the unit and begin life at home; but also, a great deal of apprehension as you transition into life with out the comfort blanket of the neonatal environment that you’ve become so accustomed to. 

Parents tell us that these feelings and emotions are completely normal and that life outside of the unit can take time to adapt to, so give yourself this time and space to adjust and be kind to yourself. You have been on a rollercoaster journey, and you’ve accomplished and overcome so much in that time. 

Upon discharge, there may be an overwhelming amount of information to retain and lots to think about. To help guide you through this period, the BLISS website outlines areas such as; preparing to go home, home oxygen, medical support when you go home and how you may feel when you go home. Please follow this link for more information: Going home from the neonatal unit | Bliss

Neonatal Follow-Up 

After leaving the neonatal unit, you and your baby may need to attend follow-up appointments that focus on your baby’s health and developmental progress. Your unit team will let you know when these appointments are, and how frequently you need to attend the clinic. This pdf leaflet provides more information about what Neonatal follow-up could look like. 

In neonatal units the common metric for weighing your baby will be grams or kilograms. If you would like to know your baby’s weight in pound and ounces, please see the link for more information.

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