Some new-born infants may be too small, too sick or born prematurely and require additional help when they are born, these infants may need to be cared for at a Neonatal Unit (South West Acute Hospital) or in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Altnagelvin Area Hospital). It is sometimes necessary to transfer babies to other intensive care units if they require more specialised treatment.
South West Acute Hospital has a 6 bedded Neonatal Unit which provides Special Care for infants over 34 weeks gestation and is located in Enniskillen. Altnagelvin Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides Intensive Care; High Dependency Care and Special Care for 18 babies over 27 weeks gestation.
Our neonatal units provide high quality individualised care for your infant and ensure that parents and the family are at the centre of and included in decisions regarding your baby’s care. Our medical and nursing teams work closely with the multidisciplinary team to ensure your baby receives high quality patient centred care.
When your baby is admitted to one of our Neonatal Units we encourage you to visit often and to help care for your baby. Our nursing staff will discuss all aspects of care and assist with establishment of oral feeding, parent craft and preparation for home. We have achieved UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation and all our staff are trained to assist you with breastfeeding, expression of breastmilk and encourage skin-to-skin contact.
Our units are staffed 24 hours a day by our neonatal specialist nursing team, who will encourage you to take part in daily ward rounds and support you throughout your Neonatal journey. The nurse caring for your baby will be able to update you on your baby’s progress when you visit or telephone the unit.
We work within the Northern Ireland Neonatal Network. The Neonatal Network Northern Ireland leads on the provision of safe, high quality services for specialist neonatal care through good practice and the development of outcome-led services. The engagement and participation of staff and families are central to the work of the Neonatal Network ensuring that their contribution to continuous service improvement is addressed through the network’s work plan.