This was formally called the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).

The unit looks after babies who need more than the usual level of care.

This includes babies:

  • Born prematurely
  • Who are unwell after birth
  • With antenatal concerns

The unit has special care, high dependency and intensive care cots.

It is divided into two areas:

  • A room for the babies who need additional support and monitoring
  • A room for babies who are learning to feed and are growing, where parents can provide most of the care to their baby (although we encourage and support parents to be active partners in their baby's care throughout their stay in the unit, even when receiving intensive care support) 

Facilities include:

  • Playroom for siblings
  • Breast feeding and expressing area, with individual cubicles and storage for freezing your breast milk
  • Parents' sitting area
  • Parent accommodation (two double rooms and a single room)

The unit is a Local Neonatal Unit (LNU) within the South West Neonatal Network.


Great Western Hospital - second floor (please see Floor plan).

Your baby's stay

The length of a baby's stay in the unit varies greatly depending on his or her needs.

We will support the family throughout, and encourage parents to become involved in their baby's care. 

Once your baby is settled in the unit, they will be fully assessed and the treatment and care will be tailored to their specific needs.

The nurse caring for your baby will be able to update you on their progress when you visit, or by phone.

Staff are always available to offer advice and answer any questions.

Please see also What happens if your baby is sick or premature.

Going home

We have an outreach service to help parents through the transition from the Neonatal Unit to home.

Visits are scheduled before discharge; families receive three visits from the nursery nurse, who will weigh the baby, discuss feeding and answer any concerns.


Neonatal Unit Tel: 01793 605174
Unit Manager Tel: 01793 605175