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Darlington Memorial Hospital

Hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Nework

Scope Of Care

    Northern Neonatal Network Care Pathways – December 2021


    County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust – University Hospital of North Durham & Darlington Memorial Hospital


    Scope of care

    County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust provide neonatal services on two sites – at the University Hospital of North Durham (UHND) and Darlington Memorial Hospital (DMH). The Units at Darlington and Durham also receive referrals from the Midwifery-led Unit at Bishop Auckland General Hospital, which now no longer provides inpatient Special Care/neonatal services, although the delivery numbers are included in statistical returns from Darlington, as well as obstetric ante-natal transfers where non-intensive care in anticipated and the mother can be safely moved. There is a high degree of collaboration and co-operation between the two Units and both are overseen by the same Divisional/Directorate management team as well as the Lead Consultant Paediatrician, who clinically oversees both sites. There is also a rotation system in place for the nursing staff.


    The current services provided on each site are as follows;


    SCBU, Darlington Memorial Hospital


    Current Unit capacity

    8 Special Care cots.


    Annual number of deliveries

    1805 (April 2020 – March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    165 (April 2020 – March 2021).


    Current threshold for routine ante-natal transfers

    Generally obstetricians will try to transfer < 30/40 gestation mothers to a Level 3 NICU hospital, or < 32/40 weeks gestation if a multiple pregnancy.


    Current threshold for routine post-natal transfers

    < 28/40 are routinely transferred to a Level 3 NICU for Intensive care.


    Other thresholds for routine post-natal transfer

    Babies who can be cared for and requiring investigations that can be undertaken at Darlington will usually not be transferred. Examples of those who we will require transfer include: babies requiring ventilation, Cardiac/surgical assessment/intervention before discharge, babies requiring Long lines & TPN, Exchange transfusion, Intensive treatment for HIE, babies with Metabolic disorders requiring specialised treatment and also any baby identified as requiring transfer after discussion with regional colleagues.


    Routine investigations/tests/screening currently undertaken

    ROP screening, MRI, CT scans, ECG, Cardiac scans (simple).


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

    No surgery is currently provided at Darlington.


    Cooling for H.I.E undertaken?

    The NNU is currently passively cooling babies prior to transfer to a NICU for active cooling if required/indicated.


    T.P.N. provided on-site?

    No all babies requiring TPN are transferred to regional services.


    Neonatal community outreach team/services provided?

    Both CDDFT units operate an outreach service across the county supporting discharged babies who:

    • Still require NGT feeds until full oral feeding is established (not long term NGT)
    • Require repeat/routine neonatal bloods
    • Are on phototherapy
    • Have not established a substantive weight gain pattern in hospital
    • Require regular monitoring of withdrawal medication (in alternative care only)
    • Oxygen dependant babies and those who require neuro disability monitoring are seen in the community by CDDFT paediatric nurses and community paediatricians


    Transitional Care provision on-site?

    Comprehensive transitional care provision with designated baby support workers support both neonatal nurses and midwives to identify appropriate babies requiring transitional care and any extra support for vulnerable babies. The current criteria for transitional care includes:

    • Intravenous antibiotic therapy
    • Blood glucose monitoring for infants of diabetic mothers, low / high birthweight babies and babies of mothers who have had labetalol antenatally
    • Any baby discharged to the postnatal ward from the NNU will be monitored on transitional care for at least 24 hours

Location Ward Info

    Neonatal unit facilities

    Parent accommodation

    We have 2 rooms available for use prior to a baby being discharged. When your baby is nearing discharge, a nurse will speak to you about these rooms.


    Parent facilities

    We have a parent’s kitchen and living area. Within the kitchen is a fridge to store food, but we do ask you to label any food with name and date. There is a microwave available to use also. Tea and coffee facilities will be provided by the hospital.


    Mobile phone use

    We ask that mobile phones are not to be used within the nursery, they may be used within the corridor and family kitchen.


    Telephone and computer access

    There is no computer available for parent use.


    Breastfeeding facilities and support

    All our staff are trained to provide breastfeeding support. They will be willing to support all mums with. There is also a breastfeeding room available as a private area to express. We have 2 electrical pumps on the unit. We also have some electrical breast pumps for home use but we do ask for these to be returned at discharge for use by other parents. If you do so wish, we can give a hand attachment following discharge to allow the continuation of expressing.


    Facilities for siblings

    Within the family kitchen is some toys and books for siblings. There is also a DVD player within the room but DVD’s must be provided. We do however ask that the siblings are supervised within the kitchen area and that the room is left tidy.


    Bereavement support

    There is a dedicated bereavement support worker for Darlington Memorial Hospital. She can be accessed via a nurse.


    Who’s who on the unit?

    Consultant(s) on the unit

    Dr. M. Garbash, Dr. A. Bangerjee, Dr. T. Banerjee, Dr J. Furness, Dr. F. Jamil, Dr. D. Jayachandran, Dr. A. Morrison, Dr. P. Shah, Dr. L Rengaraju, Dr. S. Ross, Dr. I. Thakur, Dr. N. Verma


    Unit manager

    Julie Sanderson


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Debra Hope

    SCBU lead nurse: Gail McAllister


    Family centred care lead

    Kayleigh Smith


    Developmental care lead

    There is a team of nurses designated to developmental care.


    Community nurse

    Our community team is provided by nurses working on the unit.


    What to expect when you arrive

    How to access the Unit

    We can be found on the 6th floor of the main building. To access the unit, we have a secure doors which require you to ‘buzz’ for access.


    Who to talk to if you have any concerns

    If there are any concerns, please talk to the nurse looking after your baby.


    Talking to the medical team

    The medical team are around each morning for ward round. If you wish to speak to the medical team then please ask the nurse looking after your baby.


    Ward round

    Ward round takes place on a morning. However, the time may vary slightly as our doctors work between SCBU and children’s ward.


    Baby rest time

    There is no designated rest time for babies. However, we do ask that noise be kept at a minimum when within the nursery.

Location Directions

    By car

    Address: Hollyhurst Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 6HX

    Car parking charges

    Parents are entitled to a permit which allows them to park at the hospital for free. These can be given out on a weekly basis by the nurse looking after your baby.

    For all other visitors, car parking charges are as follows:

    • 0 – 2 hours: £2.50
    • 2 – 3 hours: £3.00
    • 3 – 24 hours: £4.00


    Nearest bus stop

    There is a bus stop opposite the hospital.


    Nearest railway station

    Darlington railway station is a short walk from the hospital.


    Download Hospital Map

    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information

    SCBU provide an open visiting policy. This means you are welcome to visit at any time, for as long as you wish. Please limit visitors to 2 per cot in addition to parents. Siblings are also very welcome, but no other children under 16 years please.

    We ask all visitors to gel their hands on entry to SCBU and then wash them at the sinks within the main nursery. There are hooks available at each nursery door to hang outdoor coats.

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