Neonatal Care

Neonatal services at DBTH are based at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (NNU) and the Special Care Baby Unit at Bassetlaw Hospital (SCBU).

Visiting / opening times

Contact service

The Neonatal Unit (NNU) and the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (DBTHFT) is part of the Neonatal Operational Delivery Network (ODN). The network provides care for infants across the region to ensure they receive the best care at the right time in the right place, as close to home as possible.

The NNU currently has a bed compliment of 3 Intensive Care Cots, 3 High Dependency Cots and 12 Special Care Cots. The NNU operates at a level 2 provision, caring for infants of 27 weeks gestation and above. SCBU has a bed compliment of 8 Special Care Cots, and operates at a level 3 provision caring for infants of 32 weeks and above

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Where your baby will be cared for

To enable us to provide services to meet the needs of all babies within the areas served by the Trust, there are times when babies requiring special care need to be transferred between Doncaster Royal Infirmary Neonatal Unit (NNU) and Bassetlaw Hospital Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). If this affects you and your baby we will inform you of this as soon as possible.

Access to the Neonatal Unit and Special Care Baby Unit

The Neonatal Unit allows 24 hour access for all parents, carers and siblings. There is also protected access for other visitors from 2 till 7.30pm.

For security reasons, access will only be allowed into both units with the parent(s)/carers present.

Because noise can adversely affect pre-term infants, we ask that only two visitors per baby are present at any one time, other than parents or carers. If the NNU at DRI or the SCBU at Bassetlaw are busy, we may have to reduce this number. Siblings are welcome; we have a playroom and age specific sibling packs.  While children are in a play area, they are the responsibility of their parents at all times.

To limit the risk of bringing childhood infections into the unit, we ask that children under 14 years, who are not siblings, do not visit.

Limiting the risk of infection

Sick new born and/or premature babies are extremely susceptible to infection, which can be life threatening. Therefore, if any member of your family and friends become ill, please ask them not to visit. If you yourself are ill, please speak to the nurse supporting you in caring for your baby, regarding access to the unit for you. Although we do not wish to prevent you from seeing your own baby, in order to protect all babies on the unit, it may be appropriate for you not to have access for a few days “don’t visit if you have a fever, sneezing, diarrhoea, runny nose, cough, vomiting. Stay away until you are at least 48 hours symptom free”. A cleansing hand gel is provided on the Units for you to use. However, you are still required to wash your hands before handling your baby.

During your stay on the Neonatal unit

Medical care

A senior member of the medical team will see your baby immediately after admission to either unit. There are regular consultant ward rounds when your baby’s plan of care will be discussed with you.  If you wish to speak to a consultant at any other time, please let the nursing staff know and an appointment will be made for you. A Doctor or Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (ANNP) will assess the babies every morning. We welcome parents to be present and actively participate on all ward rounds.

Facilities for parents

We have kitchen facilities in both units for parent(s)/carers to use; this includes a fridge, toaster, kettle and microwave. Tea, coffee and milk are also provided free of charge. Breakfast, lunch and supper are also provided free of charge for resident mums. We have a selection of sandwiches and snacks for partners. Vouchers are also available for partners of resident mums to use in our dining rooms. This entitles you to a meal at staff prices.

We have six resident rooms for parent(s)/carers to stay. There is often more demand for this facility than we can accommodate. Therefore, priority is given to parent(s)/carers of acutely ill babies,  and those babies who need to establish breast-feeding before going home. If you are resident, we may ask you to give up your room for another family. This is based on the needs of all the babies in the unit and we hope you will understand if this affects you.

The NNU at DBTHFT hold a monthly support group for parent(s)/carers of babies who are currently on the unit or who have previously been cared for up to the age of 2 years. All parent(s)/carers are invited to come along and have a chat with staff and other parent(s)/carers. Details of these dates and venues are displayed on the unit.

We currently offer community outreach service (to those who fit the criteria)  2 days a week to support families caring for their babies once they are discharged home.

We have 12 lockers with tokens for you to leave your valuables in, but regret we cannot be responsible for any valuables left in the resident rooms.

Car parking

Car parking is free to all resident parent(s)/carers for the duration of your baby’s stay. Please see the ward clerk at the Nurses station who will facilitate this for you.

You may be entitled to claim a refund under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme of the cost of travelling to hospital, if you receive certain benefits/allowances.


Smoking can directly affect your baby’s health. This can occur even if you smoke outside as smoke clings to your clothes. Our hospitals are smoke-free. If you are a smoker, you may only smoke off the hospital site.

Use of mobile phones

If you want to photograph your baby on your mobile phone or camera while on the Neonatal ward it is important that:

  • You only photograph your own baby and family
  • You respect the privacy and dignity of other babies, staff and visitors by ensuring that you do not get them in your pictures.
  • You do not photograph the names of other babies or any medical notes or other information on the unit.
  • You do not shoot any video or recording on the unit, as private conversations relating to the treatment of other babies may be recorded at the same.

Information booklets

Our Neonatal Journey

The Neonatal Unit has a specially made booklet that supports you and your family throughout your baby’s neonatal journey. You can find the Our Neonatal Journey booklet here.

Data collected about your baby

We collect information about all the babies we look after.

Why do we need this information?

We use the information we collect to help us:

  • gather accurate details about the care of sick or premature babies in units across the North Trent region
  • monitor neonatal care and make sure it is always up to date
  • plan and develop services for you and your baby
  • produce reports that highlight areas of good practice that we can share across the region.

Nursing and medical staff have a duty to share information with other agencies about the welfare of all children, if necessary.

What information do we collect?

We record:

  • the name and NHS number for you and your baby
  • your postcode
  • your baby’s date of birth
  • your baby’s birth weight
  • how many weeks pregnant you were when your baby was born
  • your baby’s condition and treatment
  • how many babies you have had
  • where your baby was born
  • the hospitals where your baby was cared

Who collects the information?

Staff in both units collect the information. It is then stored on a secure computer database.

When will we collect the information?

Information is updated regularly throughout your baby’s stay.

How will we collect the information?

We collect the information from the medical notes and nursing records.

Who will see the information?

There are strict regulations controlling access to personal information, in line with the Data Protection Act (1998). By law, everyone who works for the NHS must keep all personal information confidential.

Can I see the data collection form?

You can see a copy of the information we have about you and your baby. To do this, please talk to the nurse in charge, who will liaise with your consultant about your request.

Can I request that my baby’s data is not collected?

If you decide that you do not want any details about your baby to be used for healthcare analysis, you can contact the Network Lead or Network Information Lead using the numbers below.

How can I find out more?

You can contact: 01226 433774

Network Lead or Network Information Lead

Yorkshire and Humber ODN-Neonates

The Mount Glossop Road Broomhill Sheffield

S10 3FL

Call: 0114 3053608

Contact Neonatal Services

Doncaster Royal Infirmary Neonatal Unit: 01302 642696

Bassetlaw Hospital Special Care Baby Unit:  01909 572228

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