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Welcome to the Neonatal Surgical Unit

Welcome to NSU

Welcome to the Neonatal Surgical Unit (known as NSU). On NSU we care for small and young babies who need specialist surgical and medical care by our dedicated team of professionals who are highly skilled, experienced and friendly. We understand having your baby on NSU may be unexpected and worrying. We hope this  resource will provide you with information to support and help you throughout your baby’s stay on NSU. NSU is situated on C floor in the green wing of the hospital within Critical Care.

Family Centred Care

On NSU we promote and are committed to family centred care. We actively encourage you to be involved in your baby’s care because your care and presence is essential in your baby’s development and recovery. We will help you to adapt in being a parent with a baby on NSU showing you how to, and supporting you in caring for your baby helping you to gain confidence in your very important role in your baby’s journey on NSU. We will ensure you understand your baby’s surgical and medical care and involve you with the decision making. We aim to ensure you are supported mentally and physically in the process. We have other teams in addition to the nurses and doctors on NSU who can also support you through you and your baby’s journey.

During your baby’s stay on NSU you will be able to discuss with the teams looking after your baby’s plan of care. progress and any concerns you have. If at any time you wish to have further conversations, questions to be answered, difficulties in understanding or concerns you wish to express or discuss please speak to the nurse looking after your baby or the nurse in charge who will help you with this. All information regarding your baby is strictly confidential and will only be given to you as your baby’s parents.

NSU Routine

Nurse handover; happens between 7.30 and 8 both in the morning and evening. After this the nurse who will be looking after your baby will introduce themselves to you.
Ward rounds; The timing of this varies depending on the specific team of doctors, and other teams involved with looking after your baby. We will let you know about your own baby’s teams and when their ward rounds and reviews will be.

Information for Parents and Visitors

Our ward telephone number is 0114 2717705 or 0114 2717324

We encourage parents to be resident to enhance family centred care. However, we appreciate this is not always possible. If you would like to stay, we have parent accommodation in ‘Magnolia House’ and ‘Tree Tops’ which are within the hospital but are managed by The Sick Children’s’ Trust Charity. (https://sickchildrenstrust.org ). They have bedrooms, kitchen, lounge areas and washing facilities. Rooms can be requested when your baby arrives on NSU. They cannot be booked in advance.


There is unrestricted visiting for parents. We have yellow lockers outside the main door to NSU where you can store your coats, bags and valuables. You will need a £1 coin to use these, which is refundable. If you are unable to visit, please ring NSU for an update on your baby at least once per day. We will contact you if there are changes in your baby’s condition.

Waiting Room

We have a waiting room on the critical care floor which we share with PCCU (paediatric critical care unit) and HDU (high dependency unit) which you may use. There are facilities in this room for you to use including drinks and a microwave.


V-create is a secure video messaging service which allows NSU team to send video and photos of your baby to you if you are unable to be with your baby. Please ask your nurse about registering an account so you can use this service.


NSU has 2 security doors to go through to enter the unit. There is a buzzer to press at each door to let us know you are waiting to come in.  Please only press the buzzer once, we will answer the door as soon as possible. We will check who you are and ho you are visiting before we let you in. To leave NSU the door will need to be released by a member of staff.

Entering and leaving NSU is managed by a buzzer system. There are 2 security doors to go through on entering the unit. Press the buzzer once and when asked state the name of the baby you are visiting. We aim to answer the door as soon as possible but during busy periods this may take a little longer. To leave NSU, the door will need to be released by a member of staff. We ask for the safety and security of the babies you do not allow others on to NSU as you enter and leave. Your baby with wear a hospital identity band. For their safety and security, we ask they keep this on at all times.


Free NHS WiFi is available at all Trust sites for patients, parents and visitors. To connect follow these simple steps:

  1. Select ‘NHS WiFi’ on the WiFi network list on your phone, tablet or laptop and enter the password when prompted. You can get the current password from any reception desk on site.
  2. You will then have to authenticate using one of the required methods (Google, Facebook, Twitter or text message). If the authentication page doesn’t appear automatically you may need to open your browser.
  3. Once you have signed up, you will be redirected to an NHS landing page and your WiFi connection will be active.

Well being

The Chaplaincy Centre is available for all who wish to spend some time in prayer or quiet reflection. The hospital has Chaplains of all denominations with access to leaders of all faiths.

The Chapel and Prayer room is open 24 hours a day and can be found on D Floor, next to the Cystic Fibrosis Centre, accessed via the blue lifts. You can contact the Chaplaincy team on 0114 271 17338 or you can speak to any member of the nursing staff.

NSU work with clinical psychologists within the hospital. If you feel you would like to speak to one please ask your baby’s nurse, or who you feel comfortable speaking to on the unit.

NSU facilities

Babies cots and lockers

Every baby on NSU have their own locker by their babytherm (cot). Your baby’s own clothes, blankets etc can be stored in the bottom drawer of the locker. We advise you to label your baby’s own items and encourage you not to leave valuables in there. We would welcome you to bring your baby’s own nappies in to be used during their stay. These can be stored in your baby’s locker too. Your baby will have a bag on the side of their locker for their dirty washing which you can take away to wash. We request minimum amount of soft toys are brought in. This is for safety and infection control reasons. We promote Safe Sleep on NSU which advocates no toys in the cots.


Your baby may require special equipment which may look complicated and frightening. Your baby’s nurses will be able to explain to you what the equipment , wires and tubes are for.


We wish for you and your baby to enjoy a  positive and rewarding feeding experience whether you to choose to breast feed or not. Breast milk is very important for babies but especially so if they are poorly. If you wish to breast feed or give your baby breast milk, we will support and help you in expressing your breast milk and establishing breast feeding. We have electric pumps on NSU which you use to express your breast milk by your baby’s cot.  There are Infant feeding specialists in the hospital who can advise and support you with this as well as the NSU nurses. Your breast milk can be frozen until your baby is ready to have it. You can also use your colostrum and breast milk for your baby’s mouth care. If you do not wish to breast feed or express,  or unable to do so, you can let the nurses know which formula milk you would like your baby to have. Sometimes the doctors may wish your baby to have a special prescription milk. This will be discussed with you if this is necessary.

Protecting your baby from infection

The babies on NSU are at increased risk of getting infections.  On entering NSU please leave all outdoor clothing and coats in the yellow lockers provided. Handwashing is the single most important way of reducing the spread of infection. All visitors must wash their hands and use the hand gel when entering NSU. You must also wash your hands when entering your baby’s room and before touching your baby. There are hand wash sinks in every room, and hand gel available at each cot side. The nurses will help you with this. Please help us to keep your baby’s cot, locker and bed space area clean to help reduce infections too, Please do not visit if you have a cough, cold,  diarrhoea & vomiting or Covid symptoms.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones can be used by your baby’s cot, but they must be regularly cleaned. You should always wash or gel your hand’s between using the phone and touching your baby. Please keep you phone on silent, and we request you make phone calls outside of NSU.

Routine baby monitoring on NSU

Your baby will be weighed a minimum of twice weekly (Sunday’s and Wednesday’s). We will record their weight in their own file by their cot. The nurses will show you where the file is and can convert your baby’s weight from kilograms to pounds and ounces if you would like to know.

During your baby’s stay routine newborn screening (for example hearing tests) and immunisations will be carried out when your baby is well enough and with your consent. We will explain these to you at the time and give further information if needed.

All babies have their own Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) known as the red book. If your baby has one please bring it in to NSU and keep it in your baby’s locker, so we can keep it up to date. If your baby has not been given one, please ask your baby’s nurse for one.

Burps and Giggles

We have a board on NSU called Burps and Giggles. We try very hard to ensure you and your baby’s stay is as pleasant as it can be for you in the circumstances. We are aware we may not always get it right. We would really appreciate any constructive comments so please feel free to let us know.  If it is something good, please write on a ‘Giggle’ note and for something we can improve on please write on the ‘Burp’ note. We will feed back improvements on the board.

If you would like to make a more formal or serious complaint please speak to a member of staff on NSU, NSU’s manager or ask to speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison service (PALS) team.

Hospital facilities

For more information about Sheffield Children’s hospital.

Going home

It is difficult to predict how long your baby will be in hospital. They will be able to go home when they are feeding well, gaining weight, maintaining their body temperature well, and the doctors agree with you that your baby is fit to be discharged home. We will help to prepare you for discharge during your baby’s stay with us . If your baby needs any special care or treatment at home, you will need to be competent and confident in this care before  you baby goes home.

Please register your baby with a GP as soon as possible prior to your baby being discharged.

We offer Basic Life support training to all our parents and carers and will give you additional advice for example safe sleeping guidance as set out by the Lullaby Trust. Please ask the nurses if you are unsure about anything. You can contact the ward to chase up appointments if you have not received them.

Moving To Another Hospital

NSU is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Neonatal Network.  It works with other neonatal units in the region so that babies can be moved to the unit which provides the most appropriate and specialised care needed for them.  Some babies may need to be transferred to another unit because they need treatment or specialist care that can not be provided on NSU or they may  require transferring back to their local hospital for ongoing care. If your baby needs to be transferred to another hospital they are usually transferred by the hospitals transport team Embrace.  They are a highly specialist, around the clock, transport service for critically ill babies and children. If your baby needs to be transferred we will give you information about the unit your baby is being transferred to and how to get there.  If your baby has been transferred for special treatment, they may be bought back to NSU as soon as they are well enough for ongoing care.

The Hospital Charity

The Children’s Hospital charity helps to make Sheffield Children’s Hospital better by going above and beyond NHS provision. The charity funds four key areas; specialist. Medical equipment, research into the prevention and cure of childhood illnesses, new facilities to extend the range of treatments and improvement to the hospital environment.

Through the charitable donations the charity has funded for NSU:

  • Redecoration and furniture
  • ‘Cuddles’ the NSU baby diary
  • Purchase of soft blankets for the babies
  • Diagnostic equipment (for example portable ultrasound, transilluminators)
  • V- create

Anyone and everyone can get involved in helping to make the hospital better. Every penny makes a huge difference and helps keep our hospital at the fore front of paediatric care.Www.tchc.org.uk

Further Information

Lullaby Trust; for safe sleep guidance


BLISS: for babies who are born sick or premature
















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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: NSU5

Resource Type: Article

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