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Neonatal Unit

The neonatal unit at UHCW prides itself on providing the highest quality of care through our dedicated and educated team.  

A career on the Neonatal Unit can be especially rewarding. We provide a supportive, nurturing practice environment and offer negotiable and flexible working (depending on service needs).We are a sub-regional, level 3 unit with approximately 650 admissions per year, providing neonatal intensive care, high dependency, special and transitional care 24 hours 7 days per week  We are a purpose built facility meeting the needs of premature and sick infants and their families.

The service provides eight Intensive care cots, eight High Dependency, 14   Special Care cots and currently two Transitional Care cots, The transitional care nursery provides low dependency, low tech care enabling the mother to care for her baby under supervision and support from health professionals which supports families to care for their babies in an environment where they would otherwise be separated.

We promote a family centered philosophy of care and have a designated developmental care nurse and infant feeding specialist, the unit is currently working towards UNICEF accreditation.

We are supported by link nurses for infection control and bereavement support and have a designated pharmacist and dietitian.

An example of nursing on the NNU includes:   

• Care of the infant requiring intensive and high dependency care

• Exposure to caring for infants with complex needs e.g. high frequency oscillation, nitric oxide therapy, cooling therapy

• Observation and participation in medical ward rounds

• Participation in Unit education sessions either medical or nurse led

• Special and Transitional Care, including discharge planning for infants

• Attending multidisciplinary meetings e.g. physiotherapy, dietitian

• Attendance at safeguarding meetings and social care planning

Education and developmental opportunities

There is a well established education team, comprising of a practice educator, based on the neonatal unit, and a designated practice educator who works across some hospitals within the network to provide support to staff planning to embark on the QIS course. We offer  a comprehensive competency package alongside a dedicated induction and preceptorship programme. Staff are always supernumery when they first start work on the unit and will always be allocated at least one mentor. Staff rotate to all areas in order to gain experience and increase knowledge and skills throughout the service

There are many opportunities for career development. The qualification in speciality course is encouraged once new staff have worked on the unit for a period of time; the course is affiliated with Coventry University for which the trust has a close working relationship.

The Trust offers management and leadership courses and staff are encouraged to undertake the mentor ship programme in order to progress through a career pathway.

Annual appraisals encourage career development.

Nursery nurses:

We have a team of 18 who have the option to embark on the special care foundation module (part of the qualification in speciality curriculum); they also have a  tailored competency package

Band 5:

A qualification in specialty course is normally undertaken within two years of working on the unit

The NLS Course is an essential course and UHCW is a designated course Provider. The Neonatal Unit has an established simulation team. This is consultant/nurse led and gives staff regular exposure to several aspects of emergency care within both the neonatal and obstetric setting.

Band 6 and 7:

The unit links closely with the CNN (central newborn network) which is one of 24 networks across England There are secondment opportunities for staff for example transportation of sick infants within the network.

Leadership, management courses and study days are encouraged and supported by the trust.

There is the prospect to further enhance career progression via The ANNP course at master’s level

The unit currently has 8 ANNPs who work clinically to support both the nursing and medical team. They have an integrated rota working at SHO/ Registrar level. They have all completed a nurse prescribing course.

Currently the unit has one ANNP working towards a PHD qualification.

Opportunities to be involved in audit and research is an integral part of nursing and the neonatal unit has a designated research nurse as part of the team.

For more information about working in this speciality or to arrange an informal visit contact:

Sue Aucutt (Special and transitional Care Manager) - [email protected]


Louisa Eadon (Neonatal Sister) - l[email protected]




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