Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Over 600 babies are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit each year. They are looked after by a specialist team led by 15 consultants and a neonatal matron.

The neonatal intensive care unit is divided into 3 different areas:

Intensive care

There are 14 cots in intensive care, where we care for the most premature babies and other babies who need the highest level of nursing and medical care. Babies in intensive care often require support for their breathing from a ventilator, and those undergoing major surgery will be looked after in this area.

High dependency

Babies in high dependency, which has 12 cots, require slightly less intensive monitoring than those in intensive care. They may still need support for their breathing, but this can usually be given by a device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or by high flow nasal cannula. These forms of breathing support are called 'non-invasive' because they don't require a breathing tube going into the lungs. Babies who are recovering from surgery on their bowel often require intravenous feeding whilst milk feeds are being established—these babies will be looked after in high dependency.

Special care

This area has 16 cots. Babies in special care do not require intensive monitoring but have some additional requirements which prevent them from going home or being looked after on the postnatal ward. Very premature babies usually progress from intensive care through high dependency to special care before preparing for going home. Other babies may be admitted to special care for a very short period. Babies in special care often require support for basic needs such as feeding, keeping warm and breathing. They may require tube feeding whilst they are learning to suck, may need to be on a heated mattress or in an incubator, and may need low level supplemental oxygen which can be given through tiny tubes placed just inside the nose.

Contact Information

Neonatal Unit
3rd Floor
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

General (non-clinical) enquiries
T: 020 3315 7928

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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