Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
We are part of the South East London Perinatal Network
and provide intensive, high-dependency and special care to
premature babies, as well as term babies with medical problems.
Babies with surgical problems are assessed, stabilised and
transferred to a surgical centre.
The NICU team is made up of highly skilled nursing staff with
extended roles, of which some roles are unique in
London. All of our consultants are on the specialist register as
Neonatologists, and we have a doctor's assistant, which is also
unique to our unit.
We also offer the services of a specialist paediatric
dietician and pharmacist who are also part of the Nutrition
team that assess the nutrition of babies admitted on the neonatal
Unit on a weekly basis, as well as paediatric physiotherapists.
Recent service improvements include the launch of our parents
support group, which enables parents of babies on the unit
to attend a weekly discussion forum, and we work very closely
with Bliss to support parents. We have also renovated our
Harris Family Suite, to enable parents on the unit to stay
What services are available?
- We have 23 cots on the Neonatal Unit – 6 intensive, 6
high dependency and 11 special care cots.
- We provide Intensive, high dependency and special care to all
categories of premature and term babies as agreed by the South East
London Perinatal Network. Our outcomes are better or at least
favourably comparable to other neonatal units that provide a
similar level of care.
- Facilities for mothers to express breast milk for their babies.
We also have storage facilities for breast milk.
- Ophthalmology screening for premature babies and hearing
screening for all babies.
- Planned operations eg hernias are done for our inpatient babies
at University Hospital Lewisham by the same surgeons working in the
- Premature babies who need laser treatment for retinopathy of
prematurity have this done at University Hospital Lewisham by the
visiting Ophthalmologist from King’s College Hospital.
- Assessment of well babies with jaundice or prolonged jaundice
referred by the midwife, General Practitioner or the Accident and
Emergency department. This is done in a designated room on the
Neonatal Unit and babies are followed up in the out -patient
department if necessary.
- Echocardiography for babies with heart murmur, antenatally
identified cardiac problems or in conditions where cardiac problems
are anticipated. This is done in a designated room on the Neonatal
Unit or in the Out-patient clinic.
Working with our Maternity Department
- Members of our team attend high risk deliveries and
deliveries during which problems have arisen unexpectedly, to
assess and provide any emergency care or resuscitation and
admit the baby to the Neonatal unit if needed.
- On the maternity ward, we provide the routine examination of
the newborn to all babies. We also review babies with
problems identified antenatally or after birth. We arrange
appropriate follow up (in outpatient) or referrals. We also see
babies born at the birth centre if there are any concerns.
- We advise/counsel parents when requested by our fetal medicine
colleagues in cases where problems are identified in the baby.
Together with our Obstetrics colleagues and a women’s
counsellor, we also provide a perinatal loss counselling
session to parents who have lost their babies before at or after
Where are these
Inpatient care is provided on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
(NICU) located on the 4th Floor of the Green Zone.
Outpatient services are provided at the new purpose-built
Children’s Outpatient Department (located in the Kinsfisher
Building, in the Pink Zone).
Who are these services for?
These services are for preterm and term babies. Babies who are born
at less than 32 weeks of gestation are followed in the outpatient
until they are 2 years old. Babies born at over 32 weeks gestation
will be discharged sooner unless there are specific problems that
need follow up.
GPs can refer babies up to the age of 3 months who have
general medical problems to the neonatal outpatient clinic.
How can you get an appointment?
For babies on the postnatal ward or discharged from there, the
doctor seeing or
discharging the baby will arrange an outpatient appointment.
For babies discharged from the Neonatal unit, the ward
administrator will make an outpatient appointment at the time of
discharge. If the discharge is on a weekend, an appointment will be
sent in the post to parents.
Jaundiced babies in the community are referred by the community
midwife or a GP.
When seen in clinic, the doctor will request subsequent
appointments if needed.
How can you contact the
You can call NICU direct using the following numbers:
- 020 8333 3139
- 020 8333 3140
- 020 8333 6435
You can also call the neonatal consultant secretaries via the
switchboard on 020 8333 3000.
Who are the key staff?
- Dr O. Obi
- Dr E. Sleight
- Dr A. Alfituri
- Dr R. Jayalakshmi
- Dr J. Kuna
- Dr D. Garvie (Cardiology/Echocardiography)
Neonatal Modern day matron
Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
What else do you need to
- A parent information booklet is given to parents if their baby
is admitted to the neonatal unit. This contains visiting
information, contact details etc. Only parents are allowed to visit
but they can visit 24 hours a day.
- Parents can stay by the cotside of their baby when they are
being discussed during the morning ward rounds. They can ask
questions and be involved in decision making about the care of
their baby. They will then be asked to stay outside when other
babies are discussed – for reasons of confidentiality.
- Parents will be told about the parent support group and other
resource by the nurses.
- When coming to an out-patient appointments, parents are
encouraged to bring along their baby’s red book.
Where To Next?