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West Cumberland Infirmary

Hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Nework

Scope Of Care

    Northern Neonatal Network Care Pathways – December 2020


    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, West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven


    Current Unit capacity

    9 Special Care cots .


    Annual number of deliveries

    1133 (April 2020 - March 2021).


    Annual number of admissions

    100 (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 forStent 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

    We have 2 parents room available, with shared bathroom facilities.


    Parent facilities

    There is a family coffee room containing tv, dvd player, x-box, toys & books, tea and coffee making facilities, fridge and freezer, microwave, tea, coffee, juice, biscuits, and cereal.


    Mobile phone use

    Mobile phone use is permitted in the parents coffee room.


    Telephone and computer access

    There is a payphone just off the main unit. There is no computer access for parents.


    Breastfeeding facilities and support

    There is a breastfeeding room available to feed and express. There are breast pumps available to loan. Staff can offer support and advice on breastfeeding. We also have Helen Ferris, infant feeding coordinator 01228 814269/07879632018.



    SCBU at West Cumberland Hospital now has a direct telephone line: 01946 523106


    Parent support group

    Bernedette Bowness, Bereavement Lead Midwife, 01946 523106. Bleep 5576. Mobile 07768702962


    Who’s who on the unit?

    Consultant(s) on the unit

    Dr Benhamida, Dr Gane, Dr Raptis, Dr Urs, Dr Pennington, Dr Yee Aung Mon


    Ward Manager

    Claire Moore


    Unit manager

    Jennifer Casson


    Infant feeding coordinator

    Helen Ferris, infant feeding coordinator 01228 814269/07879632018.


    Family centred care lead

    Claire Buchanan


    Developmental care lead

    Claire Buchanan


    Community nursing team

    Maria Morton and Emma Moore.


    What to expect when you arrive

    How to access the Unit

    Ring a buzzer outside the unit. Staff can see you on screen and can speak to you to ascertain who you are before entrance to the unit. Sometimes we recognise you without speaking and will just press the button to let you in.


    Who to talk to if you have any concerns

    Each shift you and your baby will be allocated a nurse. You can speak to this nurse if you have any concerns. You can also speak to the nurse in charge of the shift or a doctor.


    Ward round

    The consultants do a ward round on Tuesday mornings.


    Baby rest time

    There is no formal rest time.

Location Directions

    By car

    Nearest car park

    There is a carpark onsite and parents receive a parking permit to exempt them from charges. Visitors still need to pay parking charges.


    By bus

    Nearest bus stop

    The nearest bus stop is right outside the hospital.


    By train

    Nearest railway station

    The nearest train station is in Whitehaven Town.


    View on Google Maps >

Location Visiting Info

    Visiting information


    Parents are welcome to visit at any time.



    Siblings are welcome to visit at any time.



    Grandparents can visit between 14.30-15.30 & 18.30-19.30


    Family and Friends

    Family and Friends can visit between 14.30-15.30 &s 18.30-19.30


    Number of visitors

    Visitors are restricted to 3 per cot. Children under 16 years who are not siblings are not permitted to visit.



    No Children Under 12 unless Sibling of Infant


    Hygiene and infection prevention

    There is a gel dispenser, at the entrance of SCBU for every visitor to use. There are also hand washing facilities, and gel dispenser’s prior to entry of the main unit and in each room. There are coat hooks outside the main unit for visitors to hang outside coats.

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