Welcome to the Department of Neonatal Medicine

The majority of the 5,600 babies who are born in the trust every year are well and can go home relatively quickly with no problems.

Some however, may be born early or sick and will need the services of our neonatal department. Their stay on our units may be only for a few days for support or it may be for several weeks. This section provides some information about our services and what you could expect here.

Our neonatal services are provided from the neonatal intensive care unit (NNU) at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Neonatal intensive care unit (NNU)

New baby

The NNU at James Cook includes intensive care and high dependency facilities and is where we care for sick and premature infants. We have ten intensive care/high dependency cots and a number of special care cots and carry out various forms of respiratory support and other intensive therapies including infant cooling.

The unit is relatively large and we have an array of specialised equipment for use to keep our babies warm, monitor them and support them during their stay.

We have around 400 admissions each year to our unit in Middlesbrough so it is a busy unit and can be fairly noisy at times. The unit is also very warm.

Babies are cared for here in three separate areas:

  • Intensive care – most babies admitted, as well as babies who are very poorly, are cared for in the intensive care room or ‘pod’. Babies requiring close observation and monitoring, or help with breathing and other support, will stay in this area until their condition improves.
  • High dependency – babies moved to high dependency may be attached to fewer monitors but still need help and support even though they are progressing well.
  • Special care – babies are moved into special care when they are doing well but still need more care and observation than could be given on the postnatal ward or at home. In this room babies are developing towards being discharged.

We know this can be a very distressing time for parents, who will have a lot of questions. Our staff are always around to help provide information and to support parents and their families during their journey through the NNU.

Related services

You may also be interested in these related services from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: