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Cumberland Infirmary

Hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Nework

Scope Of Care

    Northern Neonatal Network Care Pathways – December 2021


    North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust – Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle & West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven


    Scope of care

    North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust provides neonatal services on two sites – at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven. These Units are geographically more distant and remote from the other Network NICUs/SCBUs, Whitehaven in particular, providing challenges to the transport teams from Newcastle and Middlesbrough as well as obstetric ante-natal transfers. There is a degree of collaboration and co-operation between the two Units and both are overseen by the same Divisional/Directorate management team, although there are currently no systems in place for staff rotation.


    The current services provided on each site are as follows :


    SCBU, Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle


    Current Unit capacity

    8 Special Care cots .


    Annual number of deliveries

    1498 (April 2020 - March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    162 (April 2020 - March 2021).


    Current threshold for routine ante-natal transfers

    Generally obstetricians will try to transfer < 30/40.


    Current threshold for routine post-natal transfers

    Similar to ante-natally, babies born < 30/40 are likely to be transferred as they are more likely to be ventilated, but sometimes babies not ventilated who are < 30 weeks gestation will be kept at Carlisle if there are no feeding issues.


    Other thresholds for routine post-natal transfer

    Babies who can be cared for and requiring investigations that can be undertaken at Carlisle will usually not be transferred. Examples of those who we will require transfer include: Surgical babies, babies with HIE if ventilated or if fits can’t be stabilised, feeding difficulties and where TPN is needed, diagnostic difficulties requiring opinion and or for certain tests (EEG, Echo).


    Routine investigations/tests/screening currently undertaken

    Cerebral, abdominal & hip Ultrasounds, ROP screening, Hearing testing. CT and MRI might be done on a case-by- case basis but require special arrangement. Often PACS transfers for tertiary radiology opinion.


    Surgical procedures undertaken or post-surgical care provided if not?

    Many surgical cases will go home direct from Newcastle. Carlisle SCBU will care for Stent babies and have done so both on SCBU and children’s ward. Some babies who have had a tracheostomy may be cared for on the Children’s ward in view of on-going care needs. Instances of this are very rare.


    Cooling for H.I.E undertaken?

    The SCBU is currently passively cooling babies through environmental measures. No specific equipment is being used for this.


    T.P.N. provided on-site?



    Neonatal community outreach team/services provided?

    The Community Children’s Nursing team arrange installation of oxygen and supervision of patients at home on O2, Tube feeding (NG and PEG) babies and those requiring ongoing care Tracheostomy care will also be cared for by them; however, this is not a neonatal nurse team from the SCBU.


    Transitional Care provision on-site?

    This is very limited. Babies needing antibiotics IV can reside with mother on postnatal but come through to SCBU for treatments. Heel prick SBRs or glucose samples are done by midwives but venous samples are required to be done on SCBU. Babies can have Phototherapy on post natal ward with this proviso while SBR levels are monitored. Babies needing tube feeds are admitted to SCBU. NAS withdrawal babies are cared for on the postnatal ward if Mothers are able to stay in hospital, otherwise they come to SCBU if needing treatment or there are safeguarding issues.

Location Ward Info

    Neonatal unit facilities

    Parent accommodation

    2 bedrooms on the unit for parents to stay prior to discharge providing care for their babies with the support from staff when needed. Bedrooms are also used when mothers need to establish breastfeeding. If difficult situations arise bedrooms can be used if available.


    Parent facilities

    Within the SCBU we have a lounge which parents have access to 24 hours a day. There is also a kitchen where hot and cold drinks can be made. Bread and cereals are also provided. There is a fridge which parents can use to store their own food. Mums are provided with hot meals throughout the day from maternity unit at 12.30 and 17.30, where possible fathers are also provided with hot meals.


    Mobile phone use

    Use is prohibited within the nurseries but can be used in the lounge and bedrooms. There is a payphone located in the lounge.


    Breastfeeding facilities and support

    Mothers are always encouraged to breastfeed. Expressing equipment is provided and there are 2 breast pumps to use on the unit. We have 10 small breast pumps which we loan out to parents during their babies stay on the unit.


    Facilities for siblings

    Playroom located on unit


    Bereavement support

    Chaplaincy support, after thoughts support, counselling if needed, midwifery support.


    Who’s who on the unit?

    Consultant(s) on the unit

    *Dr Whitehead, *Dr Jones, *Dr Yee Aung Mon, *Dr Kehinde, *Dr Banda, *Dr Sikkander-Shaw, and staff grade *Dr Jehangir.


    Unit manager

    Claire Peters


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Helen Ferris (midwife) not based on SCBU.


    Developmental care leads

    Helen Jones and Christine Shirley


    Community nursing team

    Babies who need to be referred to community nursing team will be allocated a named community nurse, usually babies under community team will also have open access arranged for children’s ward.


    What to expect when you arrive

    How to access the Unit

    Unit located on the 1st floor in the yellow area.


    Who to talk to if you have any concerns

    Often the nurses on the unit will be able to answer any questions. All the sisters within the unit are trained in speciality.


    Talking to the medical team

    If you wish to speak with a consultant this can be arranged for a time that is convenient for you. Consultant’s do a morning ward round on the SCBU each day and will speak with you if they are concerned about you baby in any way. Nursing staff will also keep you fully updated on all cares and any changes to care. It is asked that parents provide their own nappies. Clothing and milk is provided within the unit.

Location Directions

    By car

    If you are using satellite navigation the postcode for the Cumberland Infirmary is CA2 7HY.

    From M6:

    Exit M6 at Junction 43 and continue past Tesco on right and Rosehill Industrial Estate on left. Continue forward and at the traffic lights turn right onto Victoria Place. Follow road passing Carlisle College on right. At traffic lights turn right onto Georgian Way (keep left). At roundabout (Hardwicke Circus) take the first left onto Castle Way (A595).

    Continue along Castle Way, onto Bridge Street moving into the right hand lane. Straight ahead at traffic signals, at the roundabout take the second exit onto Caldcotes, (signposted B5307 – Kirkbride) and continue past Port Road Industrial Estate. Entrance to the Cumberland Infirmary is second right at the traffic signals.


    Car parking charges (pay and display):

    • **up to 1.5 hours – £1
    • **1.5 to 3 hours – £2
    • **3 to 4.5 hours – £3
    • **Over 4.5 hours – £5

    There is no charge for registered disabled badge holders.

    • One week permit – £7.50
    • One month permit – £15


    By bus

    Stagecoach run buses frequently to the Cumberland Infirmary from the center of Carlisle and the surrounding area; numbers 60, 67 and 68. You can read more about their services here or call them on 0871 200 22 33. (Calls cost 10p per minute from a BT landline, calls from other service providers and calls from mobiles may vary). Nearest bus stop on site of the hospital.


    By train

    If you are arriving into Carlisle by train, bus services 60, 67 and 68 to the Cumberland Infirmary can all be caught near the train station, from just outside the Courts. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank directly outside the station. Walking from the train station to the Cumberland Infirmary is approximately 1.2 miles and takes around 24 minutes. Nearest railway station- Carlislerailway station, located within the town centre.


    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information

    Visiting policy

    Parents have open visiting to the unit. Other visitors can visit anytime upto 9pm. Only 2 visitors are allowed to visit unit accompanied by parent(s). Siblings can visit with parents.



    Other children under age of 16 cannot visit unit. If someone has been unwell it is advised not to visit unit.

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