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Current waiting times (average) Emergency Dept. (A&E): 41 minutes Emergency Dept. (children): 27 minutes Learn more about our waiting times

Special Care Baby Unit

Welcome to the Special Care Baby Unit

Congratulations on the birth of your baby and welcome to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at St Mary’s Hospital, IOW. Our goal is to provide family centred care. We will keep you informed about all aspects of your baby’s care and include you as much as possible in meeting your baby’s needs.

Please tell us if you have any worries and ask any questions. The team is here to support you and your family.

Arriving at SCBU

On entering the unit, please hang up all outdoor clothing and wash/gel your hands in the area provided. Please wear a face mask. If you feel unwell in any way, or have Covid19 symptoms, please do not come into the hospital and contact us for advice.

If you are coming in from home, we will complete a daily Covid19 questionnaire with you before you enter the unit. 

Unit information

The SCBU has 4 special care and 2 stabilisation cots. We care for babies requiring care due to prematurity or health issues after delivery.

We are a consultant-led team, specialising in the care of premature or unwell newborn infants. The team includes consultants, doctors, advanced neonatal nurse practitioners, a team of nurses and nursery nurses, supported by other health and social care professionals to deliver individualised care for your baby. All staff wear ID badges and everyone who comes into the unit is asked to sign in.

Finding out that your baby needs some time in Special Care can be a difficult and emotional time. You may feel anxious about why your baby is here and unsure of what is happening.

The team caring for your baby will help and guide you. We will ensure that you are given full information about your baby’s condition and their needs. If there is anything you do not understand or you have any questions, please ask any member of the team.

Family-centred care

This welcome pack includes some useful information and resources to help support you during your baby’s stay on the unit. We encourage you to be as involved as possible in your baby’s cares, including providing nappies, cotton wool and clothes. We offer feeding support and advice tailored to you and your baby’s needs and will be there to support you anytime you need it.

Quiet time

We have recently introduced ‘quiet time’ every day from 1-2pm when babies and families have time without intervention as much as possible, unless in an emergency situation. This time can be used for kangaroo care, reading to your baby or catching up on sleep.

Doctor’s rounds

The doctors carry out a ward round each day. We fully encourage you to attend ward round and participate in discussing your baby’s progress and plan for treatment with the team. In order to respect confidentiality, if your baby is in a shared nursery with other babies, you may be asked to step out when the doctors are discussing other patients.   


We are pleased to welcome unrestricted access to parents (or carers) and siblings.

By prior arrangement with the nurse in charge, visiting by other family members is possible between 8am and 8pm.

Free Wi-Fi is available for use of digital services such as Face Time and What’s App to help you to stay in touch with partners and close family. Please respect the privacy and confidentiality of other babies if your baby is in a shared nursery. Remember to set your mobile phone to silent when on the unit to help keep noise levels down.

Facilities for parents

Our parent’s dayroom is available 24/7 where you can take a break and grab a drink and/or snack. Here you will find facilities to make hot drinks, a TV, microwave and fridge. Vending machines are located outside Labour ward.

You are welcome to have water bottles at cot side or ask one of the team for a jug of water. We have reusable bamboo lidded cups for hot drinks. Please do not take hot food into the nurseries.

The quiet room is available for anyone needing time out or to express in private if not able to do this at cot side for any reason.

A toilet and washroom is available for visitors to use. We also have a parent's suite which is available to support you when your baby is close to being discharged.

Car parking

Parking is currently free on the hospital site. If parking charges are reintroduced whilst your baby is in the SCBU, we can provide free car parking for parents.

Information sharing

You can contact us any time using the direct telephone lines to the unit. Any information over the telephone will only be provided to parents. For confidentiality, please do not visit or ask questions about other babies on the unit. If you have any security or health and safety concerns, please speak to one of the team.

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