Neonatal Care - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust is one of three specialist regional neonatal centres providing the highest level of intensive care to the smallest and most vulnerable babies. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is located at The Royal Oldham Hospital and consists of 37 cots with 9 intensive care, 9 high dependency and 19 special care cots.

Our specialist neonatal team provides the highest level of tertiary intensive care for the sickest infants and preterm babies. 

We’re here to offer you personal support and guidance throughout your baby’s journey on the Neonatal Unit. 

As a Level 3 intensive care unit, we care for local babies and, as part of the north-west network, accept referrals for intensive care babies from out of the Greater Manchester area.

We offer a 24-hour service and have nine intensive care, nine high dependency care and 19 special care cots. The Neonatal Unit continues to provide high dependency and special care for babies who no longer require intensive care.  

The unit is also recognised as a cooling centre for infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and offers high frequency ventilation with nitric oxide therapy. 

Where to find us

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is located on the first floor of The Royal Oldham Hospital. 

NICU Team - Who families and their babies can expect to meet

When your baby is receiving care in the Neonatal Unit, you’ll meet various members of our dedicated team, including:

  • Consultant Neonatologists – specialist consultants highly skilled in the care and management of critically ill and extremely premature babies
  • Registrars/Junior Doctors – specialist doctors who work with the Neonatologists to care for sick/preterm babies 
  • Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners – senior nurses who have undergone highly specialist advanced training who work as part of the medical team on the unit 
  • Neonatal Nurses/Midwives – specialist nurses and midwives trained in the care of sick and premature babies 
  • Nursing Associates – who work alongside the specialist nurses and form part of the transitional care team 
  • Assistant Practitioners/Nursery Nurses – who work alongside the specialist nurses to provide high dependency and special care 
  • Neonatal Healthcare Assistant – who support the nursing staff by making sure the unit is clean and tidy, and that equipment is readily available
  • Ward Administrator - responsible for clerical duties on the unit working alongside the lead nurse and ward manager 
  • Data Clerk - responsible for ensuring all data for patients is inputted correctly 
  • Ward Clerk/Receptionist – staff who provide the necessary clerical support to the unit, often answering the telephone, and situated at the main entrance to greet you as you arrive 
  • Neonatal Pharmacist – a specialist pharmacist who supports the unit 
  • Physiotherapist – who has specific skills in managing the problems associated with sick and preterm babies 
  • Dietician – who is trained to look after the nutritional needs of sick and premature babies 
  • Speech and Language Therapists - who support parents and their baby with feeding and attachment 
  • Radiographer – who may come to the unit to take your baby’s x-ray or ultrasound scan 
  • Hearing Screeners – who come and assess your baby’s hearing prior to discharge  
  • Infant feeding - a small team including specialist nurses who provide support to families and their babies with feeding 
  • Domestic staff – members of the domestic team who work regularly on the unit ensuring its cleanliness. 

Family Integrated Care (FiCare)

Parents and carers on the Neonatal Unit are encouraged to be fully involved in their baby’s care. This approach is called family-integrated care and means the neonatal team will work in partnership with you to share support and advice.

Evidence shows that babies looked after this way have fewer infections, are more likely to breastfeed, gain weight more quickly, have fewer complications and go home sooner.  

While your baby is receiving care on the Neonatal Unit, you’ll be able to carry out much of the day-to-day care your baby needs. To ensure your baby’s comfort and safety, you’ll be taught all the skills you need to give them all types of non-medical care. It may seem overwhelming at first but with the right support and guidance your confidence will soon grow. 

The importance of your presence and involvement in the Neonatal Unit cannot be overestimated. We’ll do all we can to make this difficult time easier for your family.  

Related Services 

Transitional Care

Transitional care is for babies who need a little more nursing support and monitoring than the routine care that all babies receive on the Maternity Unit. This means that mum and baby can stay together, and mum can be the main carer for her baby with the support of our transitional care team.  

Neonatal Outreach

Outreach nurses provide ongoing care, advice and support to families whose babies are referred to them on their discharge from the Neonatal Unit, the post-natal ward, the children's ward and occasionally other hospitals.

The Neonatal Outreach Community Team share follow-on care with other health professionals including paediatricians, health visitors, community midwives and GPs.

SPOONS - Neonatal Family Support Charity  

Spoons Charity - Neonatal Family Support 

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