The majority of babies born at our Trust will stay with their mothers on the postnatal wards. However sometimes, some babies need extra care when they are born and they may need to be admitted to the Neonatal Unit.
It can be overwhelming to see your baby surrounded by modern technology, but the neonatal staff will gently guide you through each piece of equipment and procedure so that it becomes as familiar to you as it is to us.
The Neonatal ward is a Level 2 unit and we have approximately 550 admissions a year and offer intensive care, high dependence and special care for preterm and sick newborn babies.
We are located on Level 2 in the Women’s and Children’s area of the hospital, and can be accessed via the green zone lifts and stairs.
The South West Neonatal Network in partnership with the charity The NICU Foundation, has released a series of animations to support parents of sick and premature infants during a neonatal stay.
The animation aims to help alleviate some of the worries that parents may have about the unfamiliar environment, equipment and everyday noises of the unit during an already unsettling time. The animation also helps parents understand their vital role on a Neonatal Unit such as the benefits of interacting with and holding their baby, the facilities and support available and the staff they will meet throughout their journey.
Parking is free for one visit a day. Please ask reception for a ticket which will let you out of the car park.
The main hospital doors are open between 7am and 10pm. During the night you will need to use the emergency Women’s & Children’s entrance. There is a buzzer video entry system to let you enter, but you will have to wait by the door for a security guard to allow you to exit.
The unit is completely secure with a video entry system. You will always be let in and out by a member of staff who will release the doors for you. For your own baby’s security do not allow anyone else – including other parents – in behind you through the security doors.
To help protect our patients and staff from coronavirus we have revised our visitor policy. Please contact the ward for details about the designated visiting times. For the latest information about our visitor policy, please click here.
Restrictions to access
There may be times when it is not possible to see your baby immediately. This might be due to your baby having X-rays or vital procedures. There is a family room on the unit where you can wait, and the nursing staff will keep you fully informed.
Contacting the Neonatal Unit
Neonatal Unit reception telephone: 01892 633359
You are welcome to phone the unit at any time day or night. To maintain confidentiality we are unable to give out any information to anyone other than parents. Please try to avoid phoning at handover times, as there are fewer staff to take your call. Handover times are: 7.30am – 8am, 12.30 – 1pm and 7.30pm-8pm.
Mobile phones are not allowed in the nursery areas on the unit, but they may be used in the family room. This is to ensure a peaceful and safe environment for your baby.
BLISS accreditation and Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI)
Tunbridge Wells Neonatal Unit is Bliss Accreditation under the Bliss Baby Charter. Bliss have formulated a set of seven principles which they believe will provide and encourage best practice for babies and families within the neonatal setting. By using a traffic light system, Neonatal Units can score themselves and if necessary highlight areas they feel they are weak in and implement changes to improve.
The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative enables public services to better support families with feeding and developing close and loving relationships so that all babies get the best possible start in life. The Neonatal unit has achieved the UNICEF BFI stage one and two.