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Northumbria Hospital (Cramlington)

Hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Nework

Scope Of Care

    Northern Neonatal Network Care Pathways – December 2021


    Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Northumbria Hospital CRAMLINGTON


    At SCBU we have just produced a short video for parents that aims to ease the anxiety around repatriation from an intensive neonatal environment to our unit.


    To watch the video, please click on the link or use the QR code.

    Welcome to the Special Care Unit

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    Scope of care

    Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides neonatal services on its Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (“The Northumbria”) site in Cramlington. It is unique in that it is a nurse-led Unit staffed primarily by a tier of dedicated Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs) who provide the first line medical cover and rotate separately from the nursing staff, operating on a medical basis in that role. They provide all the initial stabilisation, diagnosis and treatment for babies admitted to the SCBU and oversee the delivery suite and post-natal ward providing the cover neonatal SHOs would normally give. They also prescribe drugs and IV fluids and will arrange transfers as necessary for any baby needing more intensive care. The ANNP team are supported by consultant paediatricians from the children’s unit and are available for advice support 24/7 as well as twice weekly ward rounds to the SCBU.


    The current services provided on this site are as follows;


     SCBU, Northumbria Hospital, Cramlington


    Current Unit capacity

    12 Special Care cots.


    Annual number of deliveries

    3186 (April 2020 - March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    233 (April 2021 - March 2021), (excluding Transitional Care activity). Babies from Trust’s 3 midwifery-led units (at Alnwick, Berwick and Hexham) may also receive special care at Cramlington.


    Current threshold for routine ante-natal transfers

    Generally obstetricians will routinely try to transfer <30/40 gestation mothers to a Level 3 NICU hospital.


    Current threshold for routine post-natal transfers

    Babies < 30/40 are routinely transferred to a Level 3 NICU for Intensive care. 30-32 week babies born at Wansbeck will usually be managed there if they are stable on CPAP. Babies < 1.5Kg are transferred out if they require TPN.


    Other thresholds for routine post-natal transfer

    Babies who can be cared for and requiring investigations that can be undertaken at Northumbria will usually not be transferred. Examples of those who we will require transfer include: Surgical referrals. Other main thresholds for transfer are babies with a need for long-lines, parental nutrition or active cooling for H.I.E. Babies with tracheotomies would also not be cared for within the SCBU at Northumbria.


    Routine investigations/tests/screening currently undertaken

    ROP screening is performed on-site by the consultant Ophthalmologist from Newcastle. Routine ultrasounds of the cranium, kidneys and hips are all done on site.


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

    No surgical services for newborns are available at Northumbria.


    Cooling for H.I.E undertaken?

    The SCBU is currently passively cooling babies for HIE prior to transfer to a NICU for active cooling if required/indicated and in discussion with the RVI, Newcastle.


    T.P.N. provided on-site?

    No. There are no on-site facilities for care of indwelling long lines and/or TPN.


    Neonatal community outreach team/services provided?

    Northumbria SCBU does not provide a neo-natal community nursing service, but there is a County-wide community children’s nursing service provides home care O2/tube feeding/palliative care.


    Transitional Care provision on-site?

    The adjacent postnatal ward offers all women en-suite rooms and partners are actively encouraged to stay overnight. Northumbria do provide some transitional care facilities on their post-natal ward with oversight by the neo-natal team. This would include babies needing phototherapy, IV antibiotics and also the management of NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome). Babies requiring regular tube feeds are admitted to SCBU. These are all under the care of the ANNP team.


Location Ward Info

    Neonatal unit facilities


    There are 12 special care baby cots


    Access to a midwife

    Available on site 24 hours a day


    Parent accommodation

    There are two parents rooms each with en-suite facilities.


    Parent facilities

    There is a sitting room with kettle, fridge and TV.

    Resident parents have meals provided

    Books are available


    Facilities for siblings

    Siblings are welcome, but must be supervised.


    Mobile phone use

    We advise mobile phones are turned off during visits and are used only for taking photos of own infant.


    Telephone access

    A public telephone is available for parents to use.


    Breastfeeding facilities and support

    • breastfeeding support is available 24 hours
    • breastfeeding community team
    • a breast pump is available to loan and there is storage for breast milk.


    Baby rest time

    we provide individualised care.


    Interpreting Service

    An interpreting service is available.



    A Clinical Psychologist is available

    Parent support group: Bliss cards


    Bereavement support

    A Bereavement Officer is available


    Who’s who on the unit?

    We have a display showing the uniforms worn by staff – a Who’s Who of staff you may see on SCBU.

    All staff wear scrubs in different colours:

    • Dark purple – Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Light purple – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Dark blue – Senior Neonatal Nurse
    • Light blue – Staff Nurse
    • Grey – Neonatal Healthcare Assistant

    SCBU is also known as an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – led Unit

    • Dr Stephen Bruce – Lead Paediatrician
    • George Brooks – Neonatal Nurse Consultant
    • TBC – Ward Manager/ANNP
    • Margaret Cleghorn – Infant feeding coordinator (based on postnatal ward)
    • Graham Curry – Community nurse, paediatric community outreach lead


    Manager/Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (ANNP)

    Lorraine Munro


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Leigh Murphy


    Community nurse, paediatric community outreach lead

    Graham Curry


    What to expect when you arrive

    How to access the Unit

    Use the main hospital entrance, SCBU is on second floor next to the birthing centre. There are stairs and a lift to the second floor

    There is a security door at the entrance to the unit, you will need to press the call button and identify yourself before you are allowed access to the unit


    Who to talk to if you have any concerns

    Duty Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner or allocated nurse for your baby.


    Ward round

    There is a daily ward round, by the duty ANNP, at 8:30am.


    Talking to the medical team

    An appointment can be arranged to see the visiting consultant.

Location Directions

    By car

    Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital is accessible from the A189 at East Cramlington, to the north of the Moor Farm roundabout. It is signposted from the northbound and southbound slip roads closest to the hospital.

    If you are travelling by car, we have produced videos to help direct you to the hospital


    Car parking

    Car parking is available and will cost £1.00 covering a 24 hour period from time of purchase.

    Free car parking is available for parents of babies on the unit.

    If the mother is discharged home a parking permit will be given to parents with babies on SCBU


    By public transport

    We have worked in partnership with Nexus to develop a public transport leaflet which provides information on shuttle service, bus, rail and metro services.


    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information


    Open access so parents can visit any time.



    Open access with parents.



    Any time but must be accompanied by a parent.


    Family and Friends

    Any time but must be accompanied by a parent.


    Number of visitors

    3 only at cot side at any given time, this must include a parent.



    No children under 16 years unless siblings, no visitor will be allowed to visit baby unless accompanied by a parent.The unit can be very busy and there may be times when you are asked to leave the bays for procedures, x-rays etc. Occasionally restrictions may be in place, please check with staff. For confidentiality we would also ask parents to leave during nursing handovers (07:30-08:00 and 20:00-20:30). Any information via telephone will only be given to parents.


    Hygiene and infection prevention

    To minimize the risk of infection ALL VISITORS to gel hands on entering and leaving the unit and wash hands on entering the bays. We operate a ‘bare below elbow’ policy, therefore jewellery (with exception of plain wedding bands) and watches must be removed before entering the bays.

    Outdoor coats to be removed before entering the bays – coat pegs available in each area.

    If you are unwell please seek advice before visiting the unit

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Providing specialist and intensive neonatal care to babies born in the North East and Cumbria.

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