Going home

Preparing for discharge

Preparation for discharge begins early to enable parents to build confidence in caring for their baby. Particular emphasis is put on supporting mothers to establish breast feeding. We have a specialist breast feeding advisor and our rates of breast feeding in premature babies going home are amongst the highest in the country.

At the time of admission, it is difficult to predict exactly when a baby will be well enough to go home. If the baby was born prematurely, it is usually around the date that the baby was due to be born. There is no fixed weight a baby needs to reach before discharge home, but it is important that the baby is feeding and gaining weight. The baby may be on vitamins or other drugs and, if so, parents are shown how to administer these before going home. We also show parents how to bath their baby and go through anything else they will need to know to help prepare for discharge, including resuscitation training. Parents will have the opportunity to stay with their baby for two to three nights prior to discharge so that they may gain confidence in the routine of caring for their baby while staff are nearby to help.

On the day of discharge, parents are given a discharge letter summarising their baby’s hospital care. We will notify the baby’s health visitor of the discharge and they will arrange to visit the family at home.

After discharge

After discharge, the neonatal community liaison nurses will maintain contact with parents and visit babies who have had complex medical needs to help ease the transition from hospital to home. If a baby needs specialist care at home such as home oxygen or nasogastric tube feeding, they will be referred to the paediatric home care team for follow-up visits.

We follow-up babies after discharge in the children’s outpatient department. See referrals and clinics for more information.

Contact Information

Neonatal Unit
3rd Floor
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

General (non-clinical) enquiries
T: 020 3315 7928
E: chelwest.neonatal@nhs.net 

Neonatal Unit Reception
T: 020 3315 7883

Special Care Baby Unit
1st Floor
Queen Mary Maternity Unit 
West Middlesex University Hospital

Nursery 1 and high dependency
T: 020 8321 5944/5945

Nursery 2 and parent and baby room
T: 020 8321 6754/6755


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