Visiting Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

Parents and siblings

You can visit any time, and we encourage you to come as often as you can.

It's really important that your baby gets to know you, and you get to know your baby.

When a baby is born prematurely, or is sick and needs to spend time in hospital, the care they receive is vital to determining their future health.

Evidence shows that having contact with their parents (and, where possible, having care provided by a parent) is also important for their long-term health and development.

Doctors' rounds are daily from 9.30am.

We would very much encourage you to be present on these ward rounds.

The team value input from parents into their babies' care.

Maintaining confidentiality is very important to the medical team, and therefore as the team is seeing other babies on the ward rounds, we ask that you respect the confidentiality and privacy of other families on the unit (we would suggest you use headphones to listen to music or an audiobook at this time).

You may be asked to leave temporarily, for example, during certain procedures, such as when we are taking x-rays.

Handwashing sign 350Handwashing

Protecting your baby/babies from infection is very important.

Please note that, for all parents, siblings, and visitors, effective and thorough handwashing is vital for all upon entry to SCBU, and before any contact with your baby/babies (even if you have used the hand gel).

As parents, we would encourage you to challenge anyone who has physical contact with your baby/babies to ensure that they have performed effective hand hygiene.

If you would like any guidance on the best technique for effective handwashing, please speak to any member of SCBU staff.

Other visitors

  • Visiting times for all other friends and family will be 3.00pm-7.30pm daily.

    Effective and thorough handwashing is vital for all upon entry to SCBU, and before any contact with your baby/babies (even if you have used the hand gel).

    If you would like any guidance on the best technique for effective handwashing, please speak to any member of SCBU staff.

  • No children under the age of 16 years may visit, unless they are a sibling.
  • We can only permit two (adult) visitors per cot - one of whom must be a parent.

    All other visitors must wait in the parents' sitting room.

    We appreciate how important it is to have visitors, but we have to be sensitive to all the families on the unit, provide a pleasant environment, avoid overcrowding, and minimise the risk of infection.

  • Babies who are sick or premature can get over-stimulated, and need 'quiet time'.

    Quiet time on the unit is 2.00pm-5.00pm and 7.00pm-7.00am.

    The SCBU nursing staff can advise and support you to provide your baby/babies with the quiet time that they need. 

Special exceptions

Please discuss any other requests with a ward sister.

We recognise how important support for parents is during their time on SCBU.

Therefore, if there are circumstances where parents would like to nominate an extra person for support and visiting (outside of the set visiting hours), then please speak to the nurse in charge to arrange this.

If you cannot visit and want a friend or relative to do so in your absence, then this must be arranged in advance; we will need written consent from a parent, and the person you nominate must bring identification.

They will only be able to provide care to the baby if you have shown them what to do. 

  • Up to two (adult) visitors at a time - one of whom must be a parent.

    All other visitors must wait in the parents' sitting room.

  • Siblings should be allowed contact with their baby sisters or brothers, and if parents would like, siblings should be allowed to hold their babies.

    They should be supported and helped to wash their hands very effectively before contact with their baby sibling.

    No children under the age of 16 years may visit, unless they are a sibling.

  • As parents, it is your decision if you would like other family members or friends to hold your baby/babies if they visit.

    The SCBU nursing staff will support you if you would prefer that visitors do not handle your baby/babies.

    (This may change at the discretion of the nurse in charge in order to prevent infection.)

    However, we recommend that, to best safeguard your baby:

    • Being exposed to cigarette smoke (even just on the clothes of somebody who has been smoking) could be very harmful to your baby.

      Please do not allow people who have recently smoked to hold your baby.
    • Visitors or siblings who are currently unwell (with coughs, colds, diarrhoea or vomiting or other infections) could pose a risk to your baby, as many babies who require extra neonatal care can be extra susceptible to infections.

      These people must not visit while they are unwell.

      If a parent is unwell, please discuss with the nurse in charge as to whether visiting and contact with your baby is advisable.

    • Strict hand hygiene is observed before any contact with a baby.
    • Babies who are sick or premature can get over-stimulated, and need 'quiet time'.


      Quiet time on the unit is 2.00pm-5.00pm and 7.00pm-7.00am.

      The SCBU nursing staff can advise and support you to provide your baby/babies with the quiet time that they need.

  • No hot drinks or hot food to be consumed in any of the nurseries.
  • Doctors' rounds are daily from 9.30 am.

    We would very much encourage you to be present on these ward rounds.

    The team value input from parents into their babies care.

    Maintaining confidentiality is very important to the medical team, and therefore as the team is seeing other babies on the ward rounds, we ask that you respect the confidentiality and privacy of other families on the unit (we would suggest you use headphones to listen to music or an audiobook at this time).

Further information/contact

Tel: 01793 605174

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