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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - Derriford Hospital

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides specialist medical intensive care treatment for extremely preterm and sick newborn babies in the South West Peninsula, that is, Exeter, Torbay, Barnstaple, Truro and Plymouth.

NICU provides 14 intensive / high dependency and 6 special care cots. We also host the regional retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) treatment centre in a specially configured treatment / intensive care room.

Contacts details

Address:Derriford Hospital
Derriford Road
Telephone number: Intensive Care Nursery 01752 245057
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Transitional Care Ward (TCW) is an 18 bed ward adjacent to the NICU which accommodates mothers / parents to be the primary care givers for their special care babies, a model called family integrated care (FiCARE). This model supports our ethos of delivering neonatal special care in partnership with parents, enhances attachment and reduces the length of stay for the special care population of babies born in Derriford hospital.

Neonatal Outreach Service supports the Neonatal Service in reducing the length of stay for babies. It is designed to provide additional nursing support for parents and specialist care for their infants in the community. Clinically, it provides the opportunity for infants to be discharged earlier to the home environment in the knowledge that they can continue to have expert-led care and supervision. This facilitates a smooth transition from the hospital to home.

Intensive Care Nursery and High Dependency Nursery

Babies who are very small or unwell and need help with their breathing will need to be looked after in these nurseries. Babies who are undergoing assessment after delivery will also be admitted here. There may be occasions when it is necessary to move your baby between these two rooms. We will try to let you know before this happens so you are prepared.

There is space for six infants in each room, each space has all the equipment necessary to care for your baby. Most of the babies in this room will be looked after in an incubator or a hot cot, often with a number of wires attached to a monitor, this is so that we can observe your baby closely whilst keeping him or her warm and without disturbing them too much.

Special Care Nurseries

Babies will be moved into the special care nurseries when they are progressing well but still require more care than can be given on the Transitional Care Ward or at home. In this room babies will improve their feeding and continue to grow whilst being observed. There is space for 5 babies in each nursery. The nurses in this room may be looking after four or five babies at a time, and you will be encouraged to be more independent in caring for your baby. You will still have the opportunity to meet with your baby's doctors on a regular basis.

Transitional Care Ward

Babies will be transferred to the Transitional Care Ward (TCW) when they no longer require such close monitoring and observation. TCW has the facilities for parents to stay with their babies so that feeding can be established and parents can really get to know their babies well before going home. The midwives work in teams and there may only be one midwife looking after five to six mothers and babies at a time.

Visiting NICU

Parents of babies on the unit may visit at any time, day or night.

Visitors of your choice are welcome to visit between 2 and 7pm each day.

Additional contact numbers

  • Intensive Care Nursery 01752 245057
  • High Dependency Nursery 01752 763638
  • Special Care Nurseries 01752 763640
  • Neonatal Unit Manager 01752 763600
Based: Plymouth
  • 0 to 1 years old

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