Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

Neonatal unit facilities

Parent accommodation
The Unit has one mother and baby room where mothers can come and stay with their babies in the days leading up to discharge. The room has a bed, TV, en suite shower and toilet facilities.

Parent facilities
The Unit has a sitting room for parents/siblings/visitors with a TV/DVD, magazines and information leaflets. All children must be supervised at all times.There is a kitchen where hot beverages can be made free of charge as well as chilled, filtered water. No hot drinks are to be taken into the clinical area. The nearest toilets can be found in the reception area of Maternity.

Mobile phone use
Mobile phones must not be used in the clinical area. They can be used in the Sitting room. If parents are wishing to use their phones to take photographs of their baby, the phone must be switched to flight mode.

Telephone and computer access
There is a pay phone in the reception area of Maternity as well as a free phone for a local taxi service. There is no computer access on the Unit for parents or visitors.

Breastfeeding facilities and support
There is an expressing room on the Unit with electric pumps available for use. Each mother is provided with a sterilising unit and this is changed daily by staff. Hand pumps are available free from the Unit. All staff ahve had breastfeeding support training and can assist mothers with breastfeeding and advice and support for expressing by hand, electric and hand pumps as well as assistance to establish feeding. There is a designated breastfeeding support worker within the maternity unit who is available to assist mothers on the unit, on the postnatal ward and at home.

Facilities for siblings
There are no designated facilities for siblings. Colouring sheets and crayons are available on the Unit. Parents/visitors are advised to bring books, toys, tablets/IPads, etc to keep children entertained.

Bereavement support
Those requiring support will be assisted by staff to access support through their GP/Community midwife/health visitor. Bereavement services are available at nearby RVI hospital. The hospital Chaplains are also available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. The unit also hold information to access SANDS services and there are local SANDS support groups.

Parent Support Group
There is no specific parent support group for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital SCBU. There are many local groups, eg Bosom Buddies and the Unit has details of these parents can access. There is a notice board in the paretns sitting room. All parents are given information to access BLISS and Tommy’s services.

Who’s who on the unit?

Consultant(s) on the unit
Dr. D. Bosman, Dr. A. Benhamed, Dr. S. Mannikar, Dr. H. Estyn-Jones, Dr. A. Dale, Dr. N. Sabrine, Dr. S. Wolny, Dr. N. Gittins, Dr. C. Howey

Unit manager
Chris Crone, Modern Matron

Infant feeding coordinator
Dr. Anne Dale is our nutrition specialist. We also have access to the SALT team, dieticians and community paediatric nurses.

Family centred care lead
No designated nurse but all staff work strongly to promote as part of the Unit philosophy of care.

Developmental care lead
Neonatal nurse Claire Henderson

Community nurse
No designated SCBU community nurse. We are supported by the local Community Paediatric Nursing Team.

What to expect when you arrive

How to access the Unit
All parents and visitors must sign in and out of the maternity unit on arrival and departure. The Special Care Baby Unit is securely locked at all times. Entry can be made via a buzzer entry system which is activated by staff once parents/visitors have confirmed who they are and who they are there to visit. This also has a monitor which enables staff to see who is at the door.

Who to talk to if you have any concerns
Nursing staff and senior nursing staff are available at all times should parents which to address any concerns. Medical staff can be requested if parents wish to discuss their concerns with the medical team. PALS service is available for advice and support as detailed earlier.

Talking to the medical team
Ward rounds are daily on the unit by a member of the medical team or one of the nurse practitioners. Parents/carers are invited to attend. Each baby is seen on an individual basis, ie confidentially and with no other parents present. Medical staff are available to talk to at request outside of ward round times. This would be arranged by one of the nursing staff for a day and time to suit parents/carers. Parents/carers are advised to write down any questions or particular concerns they may have prior to seeing the team so all areas are addressed.

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 baby rest/quiet time on our Unit.

Visiting information

  • Visiting is every day of the year. Parents and siblings of the baby can visit at anytime, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
  • For visiting family and friends, the times are 3.30pm-4.30pm and 6.30pm-7.30pm.
  • All visitors must be accompanied by a parent except for extenuating circumstances.
  • Two visitors are allowed per baby plus a parent. Siblings of the baby are no included in this number.
  • There are no under 16’s allowed on the unit aside from siblings.We respectfully request that parents and visitors do not attend the Unit in their work attire and that all outdoor coats are removed before entering rooms. Teddy bear shaped coat hooks are situated outside of each room on both sides of the door.
  • We ask that every person, on entering and leaving the room, wash their hands at the sink with soap and water, regardless of whether they will be handling the baby and even if they have used alcohol gel in the corridor.
  • Alcohol gel can be found just outside the main door into the Unit for hands to be cleansed prior to entering. There is also gel just inside the door, to clean hands on leaving the Unit.
  • We advise that babies nursed in incubators are not handled by any visitors, only parents and siblings of the baby.

By car


Car parking charges
Car and motorbike parking facilities are at all sites. Drop off areas are located outside of the Emergency Care centre, Maternity, the Surgery Centre and the Jubilee Wing.

  • Up to 2 hrs – £2.50
  • Up to 4 hrs – £3.50
  • 4-24 hrs – £5.00
  • Lost tickets – £5.00

Nearest car park
The best entrance to use for maternity/SCBU is Entrance C from Queen Elizabeth Avenue.
There is a car parking permit scheme available for parents/carers which allows free parking for the duration of the baby’s hospital admission available from SCBU staff. For parents using public transport and in receipt of state benefits, you can claim back travel costs from the General Office in the Main Entrance.
There are bus stops situated along Queen Elizabeth Avenue which allows for travel to Gateshead and Heworth Interchanges. Metro services are available from both. Access to the railway is from Heworth Interchange or from Central Station which is one metro stop from Gateshead Interchange.

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Cashpoint machine
Not currently available on site but planned for the new Emergency Care Department. Cash machine facilities 24hr at nearby Tesco Direct (within walking distance).

Catering/refreshment facilities (in the hospital)
Quenellies Restaurant is situated in the main building of the hospital. It is open 7.3-am-6.30pm. Serves hot and cold food and beverages. There are also vending machines situated in the corridor outside Quenellies where you can purchase hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks. Vouchers are available for parents of babes on SCBU that entitles them to staff discount at Quenellies. The new Emergency Care department houses a Costa coffee shop, a Subway sandwich shop and a general store called Amigos. Opening times are Monday-Friday 7.30am-8.00pm, Weekends 8.00am-8.00pm. There is also a post box.

Other shops on site/nearby
Off site, there is general store on Queen Elizabeth Avenue and a nearby Tesco Direct. On Old Durham Road, there are many shops and take aways.

Laundry facilities
No on site facilities for personal use but the are laundrettes situated on Old Durham Road.

Religious and spiritual support
The hospital has a Chaplaincy Service. It is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The Chapel and multifaith room are found in the main building and are open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. They are situated in the same corridor as Quenellies/the dining room within the hospital. There is a Book of Remembrance for adults and babies/children which is opened to the relevant date each day. Entries can be made free of charge by contacting the Chaplains. Direct line number is: 0191 4452072.

Patient Advocacy Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS is open Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.00pm, with an answering machine outside of opening hours. Tel. no 0800 953 0667. Email: pals@ghnt.nhs.uk. Post: PALS Desk, Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE9 6SX.

Interpreting services
Access to the interpreting service is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The service will be arranged for you by a member of staff.

Access to a midwife
Access to a midwife is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. This will be arranged for the by a member of staff or you can contact the Pregnancy Assessment Unit (PAU) for advice/postnatal checks on 0191 445 2764.