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Neonatal Unit

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 today released first of its kind animation to support parents of sick and premature infants during a neonatal stay.

 The animation, funded by The NICU Foundation,  aims to help alleviate some of the worries that  parents may have about the unfamiliar environment, equipment and every day noises of the unit during an already unsettling time. The animation also shares information for parents to support them to 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.

You can view the animation here.

PLEASE NOTE: Internet Explorer will not download the file – the page loads, but the user is unable to interact with any of the user interface elements.

Users are able to access using Google Chrome.

The link may display an alert. This alert is displayed due to Google Chrome’s built-in “Safe Browsing” settings. This is due to the security certificate configuration settings on the ODIE Server, and in this case is nothing to worry about.

Users can proceed to ODIE and the file by clicking “Advanced”, then selecting “Proceed”.


The unit operates a pay station system. If you parked your car in a hospital car park please ask your baby’s nurse for a parking concession ticket. Take this down to the main hospital reception on level 0 where you will be given a ticket allowing you to pay £1.50 per day for the first 10 days of your stay. On day 11 of your stay please ask the NNU staff for a permit which enables you to benefit from free parking for the rest of your baby’s stay in hospital.


The main hospital doors are open between 7am and 10pm.During the night you will need to use the emergency Women & 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.


Parents and grandparents are welcome to visit at any time of the day or night. We ask you to respect the babies’ quiet time between 12.30–2pm (parents only). Other visitors over 16 and brothers and sisters of your baby are welcome to visit with a parent between 3-5pm. Only 2 visitors at each cot side, with parents.

Please do not visit if you have a cough, cold or diarrhoea. If you are not sure please talk to a member of staff.

During the winter months from 1st October-31st March, there may be occasions when siblings under the age of 6 are not allowed to visit. This is to reduce the risk of infection to your babies during the bronchiolitis season. Under 6’s are the most at risk group for transmitting infections. Staff will let you know if this occurs.

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 is 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

Tunbridge Wells Neonatal Unit is currently working towards Bliss Accreditation under the Bliss Baby Charter. Bliss have formulated a set of 7 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.

Each Neonatal Unit enrolled has been given a certificate of intention and then must complete two self-assessments before Bliss representatives visit to assess and agree full accreditation. Here at Tunbridge Wells we are fully committed and hope in the near future to be one of the few hospitals fully accredited to the Bliss Baby Charter.