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Sunderland Royal Hospital

Hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Nework

Scope Of Care

    Northern Neonatal Network Care Pathways – December 2021


    City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – Sunderland Royal Hospital 


    Scope of care

    City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust provides neonatal services on its site at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.


    The current services provided on the site are as follows :


    NICU, Sunderland Royal Hospital


    Current Unit capacity

    7 Intensive Care cots.

    9 Special Care cots.


    Annual number of deliveries

    3738 (April 2020 – March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    330 (April 2020 – March 2021).


    Current threshold for incoming ante-natal transfers

    Generally obstetricians from the eight SCBUs will routinely try to transfer <30/40 gestation mothers here as one of the four receiving NICUs in the Network. This is done by direct discussion with receiving consultant obstetricians and neonatologists if a suitable Intensive care cot is available but through the dedicated Neonatal Transfer Hotline number.


    Current threshold for incoming post-natal transfers

    Babies < 30/40 that have to delivered at one of the SCBUS are routinely transferred to Sunderland for Intensive Care after using the Transfer hotline according to the appropriate Care Pathway. Babies that require admission will then usually be transferred to Sunderland by the referring hospital by the regional transport service.


    Other thresholds for incoming post-natal transfer

    This will be discussed with Sunderland clinicians and decided on a case by case basis, but examples of babies who will generally require transfer include: any baby requiring intensive or ongoing high dependency care that is outside the gestation threshold above, HIE’s needing active cooling, some surgical cases (see below), congenital/cardiac anomalies for further assessment if they do not require immediate transfer to the Sub-Regional Unit (RVI/Freeman), babies requiring ventilation or TPN. Other babies that could normally be cared for at one of the other 3 NICUs and admitted there but cannot be accommodated because of lack of a suitable NIC cot may also be transferred here.


    Transfer services provided?



    Routine investigations/tests/screening currently undertaken

    ROP screening is performed on-site. Routine ultrasounds of the cranium are also done on site, as well as CT/MRI Scans. Other services and diagnostic facilities are listed below.


    Surgical procedures undertaken and/or post-surgical care provided?

    Laser surgery for advanced ROP (Retinopathy of prematurity) is provided by arrangement/referral through the consultant neonatologists/ophthalmologists.


    Cooling for H.I.E undertaken?

    Therapeutic cooling for babies with HIE is undertaken here and babies requiring this therapy can be transferred from one of the SCBUs if this is required/indicated after discussion with one of the neonatologists and subsequent transfer arranged via the Hotline with the regional transport service.


    T.P.N. provided on-site?



    Neonatal community outreach team/services provided?

    Neonatal community outreach is provided by a team of 3 community paediatric nurses who work in close liaison with the neonatal consultants. Services provided by the community outreach team included monitoring of babies who are on home oxygen and nutritional support for those babies requiring long term nasogastric tube feeding.


    Transitional Care provision on-site?

    There are 2 mother and baby rooms where mothers can care for their babies with support from the neonatal nursing staff. These facilities are usually used for babies who are getting ready for home or babies who are well but readmitted from the community for management of jaundice or poor feeding.


    Full list of Services provided;

    • Advanced Ventilation incl. NO therapy.
    • Functional Echocardiography.
    • Cardiology Diagnosis.
    • Cardiology Clinics
    • Cranial ultrasound and MRI scans.
    • EEG and aEEG facilities.
    • Fetal cardiology.
    • Ophthalmology including laser surgery for Retinopathy of Prematurity.
    • Regional genetics service
    • Specialist Neurodevelopmental Follow Up (BSID 3) of at risk infants.
    • Therapeutic Hypothermia

Location Ward Info

    Neonatal unit facilities

    Parent accommodation

    Woodford Williams lodge is available to parents out of the area where we can offer some limited overnight facilities. We do have 2 rooms on the unit that can be used if baby is very ill and we do use them for mothers to room in prior to discharge.


    Parent facilities

    Waiting room has now been extended and has a play area for siblings. There is a kitchen where they can make tea and coffee once the room is sorted.


    Mobile phone use

    Only to be used in certain areas not in clinical areas.


    Telephone and computer access

    Pay phone in waiting area no access to computer.


    Breastfeeding facilities and support

    Breast feeding nurse on the unit a room for mothers to express electric pumps on the unit and also electric pumps available to loan. There is breast feeding co ordinator on maternity and breast feeding buddies who work both in and outside the hospital.


    Facilities for siblings

    Limited on the unit and must be supervised there is also a play area on the paediatric unit they can use.


    Bereavement support

    We have a Bereavement nurse Kayleigh Light and the Chaplin service but are able to put families into touch with relevant support groups.



    All staff available and aware of support groups.


    Parent support group

    We have a “Buddy” group which meets approx every 6 weeks for previous preterm babies and parents to meet up.


    Who’s who on the unit?

    Consultant(s) on the unit

    We have 5 consultants Dr Abu- Harb, Dr Gillespie, Dr Geethanath, Dr Gaffari, and Dr Ahmed


    Unit manager

    Emily Cameron


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Breast feeding Sue Hindle


    Family centred care lead

    Claire King


    Developmental care lead

    Tracey Gleghorn


    Community nurse

    No designated neonatal team but paediatric community team look after any discharged preterm’s that need community input


    What to expect when you arrive

    How to access the Unit

    The unit is locked at all times and access is via an intercom system.


    Who to talk to if you have any concerns

    Named nurse for their baby but nurse in charge if they are not available.


    Talking to the medical team

    Open access to the medical team depending on work load.


    Ward round

    High dependency ward round daily at 09.00 and invited to attend. Cool room ward round is nurse lead and therefore no designated time depending on work load normally am.


    Baby rest time

    Quiet time is between 13.00 and 15.00

Location Directions

    By car

    Map on hospital web page

    Nearest car park

    Directly out side of the maternity enterance


    Car parking charges

    £2 for one hour, £3 for two hours or £20 for a monthly permit.


    By bus

    Nearest bus stop

    Directly outside the hospital gates


    By train

    Nearest railway station

    City centre approx half a mile away. Also metro station


    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information

    Visiting policies

    Only 3 visitors at time of which one must be a parent.



    Open visiting



    Open visiting



    Open visiting with a parent


    Family and Friends

    Must come with a parent


    Number of visitors

    3 max and one must be a parent



    Only 3 at a time and if busy due to space or work load my be reduced amount. Also on ward round have to wait in waiting room when other babies are discussed. No children under 14 years of age other than siblings.


    Hygiene and infection prevention

    Out door coats to be stored in waiting area and lockers are available (£1 coin needed but returned when key put back in)

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