Premature babies usually go home at, or slightly before, the date they were due to be born. This means that if your baby is born six weeks early, it could be six weeks until he or she goes home. By the time they go home, babies will be feeding well, gaining weight and sleeping in a cot.
The Neonatal Community Nursing Team
The community nursing team provides care to babies and support to their families whilst on our units and then at home after discharge. The team works with nurses and parents shortly after admission to begin to prepare parents and their babies for discharge. This may include teaching parents additional skills including naso-gastric tube feeding and resuscitation.
The team will then visit babies in their homes after discharge to support parents and families in looking after them. They are also able to provide telephone advice. They work alongside health visitors, to whom they will handover care after approximately 4 weeks.
Transferring babies between neonatal units
The Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton is the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Sussex. We are part of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Network. This means that we work together with all Special Care Baby Units in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Together, we look after as many babies as possible who need intensive care and try to avoid having to transfer them (or their mothers) longer distances to other neonatal intensive care units in London or further afield.
Babies who no longer need intensive care benefit from the less medical, more relaxed environment of a Special Care Baby Unit. This is also true for their parents. Once babies reach this stage of their recovery, it is therefore important for us to transfer them promptly to their local unit.
If you were originally booked to deliver your baby at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH), then we will usually continue to care for your baby on the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.
If the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) is your local hospital, then your baby will be transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit there. The same team of consultants will supervise the care of your baby at PRH.
If you were originally booked to deliver your baby at another hospital, then your baby will be transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit there. The medical care of your baby will be handed over to the consultant and nursing team at that hospital.
If your baby has long term medical or surgical needs, then your baby may be transferred to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital when he/she no longer needs intensive care. The care of your baby will be handed over to the Consultant Paediatricians and/or Consultant Paediatric Surgeons as appropriate.
Occasionally, even if you delivered your baby at RSCH, you may be asked to agree to transfer your baby to PRH or another Special Care Baby Unit locally. We will only do this:
- if your baby can be safely looked after in another unit, and
- we would otherwise have to transfer a baby who needs intensive care to London or further afield unnecessarily.
We appreciate that transferring your baby can be stressful but hope you can understand why it is necessary. We undertake to:
- always give you as much warning as possible
- never transfer your baby without discussing it with you
- transfer your baby safely using an appropriate neonatal transport team
- hand over the care of your baby fully and safely