skip to main content

University Hospital North Durham

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 the UHND site is as follows;


    SCBU, University Hospital of North Durham


    Current Unit capacity

    12 Special Care cots.


    Annual number of deliveries

    2565 (April 2020 – March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    284 (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 UHND 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 UHND.


    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 birth weight 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 a family room available for use prior to a baby being discharged. When your baby is nearing discharge, a nurse will speak to you about this room.


    Parent facilities

    There is a small sitting area for parents with some toys for young children.


    Mobile phone use

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


    Telephone and computer access

    There is no computer available for parent use. There is a payphone at main reception.


    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

    There is a small sitting area for parents with some toys for young children.


    Bereavement support

    There is a dedicated bereavement support worker for UHND who can be accessed via a nurse.


    Who’s who on the unit?

    Consultant(s) on the unit

    Dr. Garbash (Neonatal lead), Dr. Cronin, Dr. Nyamugunduru, Dr. Stewart, Dr. Posner, Dr. Workman, Dr. Balu, Dr. Nair, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Shah, Dr. El Kholy, Dr. Workman, Dr. Probert, Dr. Prudon


    Unit manager

    Julie Sanderson


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Christine Tulip


    Family centred care lead

    Jessica Shepherd


    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 1st floor. To access the unit, we have 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 doctor’s work between SCBU and children’s ward. On a Friday morning we have a “grand round” where the medical team discuss all babies and their care as a team.


    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

    Nearest car park

    Hospital car park is situated at the main entrance of the hospital and is well signposted. There is also a private pay and display car park just at the entrance to the hospital that can be used.


    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

    Durham railway station is approx a 20min walk from the hospital.


    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information

    The NNU 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 the NNU and then wash them at the sinks within the main nursery. There are hooks available to hang outdoor coats.

Latest News

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

Get in touch with us to get more information.

Contact Us 

Download our Nornet app

We have created a very useful smartphone app with all the information required for families about our network hospitals & services. Please download it by clicking one of the following links

play-store app-store