The Neonatal Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary provides all levels of newborn medical care and intensive care to babies from Bradford and across the Yorkshire region. It is also home to an Intensive and High Dependency Care Unit.
Women may be referred during pregnancy when very early birth is anticipated or babies transferred to Bradford for specialist care after delivery in their local hospital. We welcome pre-admission visits from parents when admission is anticipated.
About one baby in ten needs additional medical care in the newborn period, with about one in a 100 requiring intensive care. Wherever possible, we aim to keep mothers and babies together.
We recently won a prestigious national health award after developing innovative video-conferencing facility BabyView, which allows parents and families who cannot visit the Neonatal Unit to see babies and speak to staff members.
We know that parents need looking after too; there is a sitting room for parents and a kitchen with free tea and coffee.
Parents can stay on the Neonatal Unit too, particularly if they live a long way away or need to ‘room in’ with baby before going home. ‘Rooming in’ is when you stay with your baby for a few days to get more confident caring for your baby in preparation for leaving.
We have two bedrooms on the Neonatal Unit and another two a short walk away on the second floor of the maternity unit for parents who live a distance away.
Parents are our partners in caring for their babies. There are no restrictions on visiting and you are welcomed and encouraged to be with your baby at any time – day or night. To avoid overcrowding, which can increase infection risk to the babies, we aim to have only two visitors at each cot side.
If parents are unable to visit through sickness or need to be at home for other reasons, we have developed an innovative and award-winning video-conferencing facility (BabyView) which allows parents and families to see babies and speak to staff members. Please speak to the nurse looking after your baby if you would like to use this facility.
The nursing team, led on each shift by a nurse co-ordinator, are responsible for planning and co-ordinating nursing care and are happy to speak to any parent.
The senior nurses are known as sister or charge nurse and wear purple uniforms. Staff nurses wear lilac with purple trim. All babies will have a nurse allocated to their care on each shift.
As a neonatal unit within a teaching hospital we will often have student nurses working under the supervision of a registered nurse. Babies needing less technical care may be allocated to the care of a nursery nurse or a neonatal support worker who will work in partnership with colleagues in the nursing team.
Housekeepers in pale lilac with yellow trim help nursing staff with equipment preparation and cleaning.
During the day a ward clerk is on duty, and may be the first person you meet as you come into the unit. They will often open the door buzzer and help you find your way around the unit while looking after the day-to-day administration of medical records, supplies etc. If no ward clerk is on duty the door buzzer will be answered by the clinical staff.
Although we will try our best to keep delays to a minimum at times all staff may be busy with a baby. We hope that you do not have to wait too long and will understand that the babies always have to be our first priority.
To support babies and families at home we run a seven-day outreach service. The nurses and midwives in the outreach team will liaise with families and the neonatal unit, and play an important role in helping babies following their discharge from the neonatal unit. They will check on baby’s progress at home, supporting feeding, check weight and carry out blood tests etc.
As part of a new initiative more babies are being discharged with tube feeding at home. This can help babies to be discharged home successfully and help mothers successfully breastfeed. This may not be suitable for every baby and will be offered to families on a case-by-case basis.
The Children’s and Neonatal Research Team have a strong presence on the neonatal unit. They help the clinical team to put research projects at the heart of clinical care – if parents wish for their babies to participate in them.
Clinical and research staff approach the parents of many of the babies on the neonatal unit to see if they would like their baby to join research projects. They vary from simply collecting information to opportunities to have new treatments in addition to standard care.
Where new treatments are offered as part of research, this is usually as part of a randomised controlled trial, where a treatment is compared to standard care.
The details of each opportunity to participate are explained to families in detail, with lots of opportunities to ask questions. A leaflet will accompany each study. Only parents can decide whether their infant participates in research projects.
The clinical and research teams are enthusiastic about offering families the opportunity to participate in studies. The Neonatal Unit has a long record of taking part in research, and much of the routine care we now deliver has been aided by research projects we have run, with the help of families, in the past.