Leaving the Neonatal Unit

Transfer of care

When your baby no longer needs intensive care, if necessary, we’ll arrange for them to be transferred back to your local hospital.

This makes it easier for you to visit your baby and it allows your local hospital doctors to get to know you and your baby.

We will only arrange the transfer when we are sure it is the right time for your baby.

Neonatal outreach team

Our outreach team is a small team of neonatal nurses who specialise in helping you to prepare for your baby going home.

They will introduce themselves to you on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and will give you information about how they can help.

If you live in Lambeth or Southwark, a nurse from the outreach team will also visit you at home after leaving hospital. They will advise you on feeding and establishing good routines, and offer support. They can also carry out any blood tests your baby might need, and help you access specialist teams and community services if needed.

Planning for leaving hospital

As your baby becomes more stable, we will gradually reduce the amount of monitoring your baby receives. This is called ‘normalising’. It means that we are confident your baby is improving and no longer needs to be monitored in the same way. We will, however, continue to observe your baby using other techniques.

Your presence throughout this period is very important, particularly as your baby's feeding progresses. 

We will also encourage to interact with your baby as much as possible during the day, to help develop your baby's sense of a day/night cycle.

For more information about planning for leaving hospital, see our patient leaflet Welcome to the Neonatal Unit (PDF 114Kb).

Follow-up care

Some babies who are admitted to the Neonatal Unit for a short time do not need any follow-up care after they leave.

Others may have follow-up appointments Evelina London Children’s Hospital, or at the Mary Sheridan Centre for Child Health in Kennington.

The outreach team will explain to you which type of appointment your baby needs before he/she leaves the unit. Find out more about follow-up appointments.

What if I have a problem at home?

If your baby is unwell and you need urgent help call 999 or take your baby to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.

If you need more general advice you can either phone us, your GP or NHS 111.

Help and support is always available for you and your baby no matter what time or day of the week.


Neonatal Unit main reception

Tel: 020 7188 4045

Outreach team

Tel: 020 7188 4025 

How to find us

Neonatal Unit 
Sixth floor, North Wing
St Thomas' Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH

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