Frequently Asked Questions

1) How can I contact the Neonatal Unit @ Stoke Mandeville?

Reception – 01296 316113 or 01296 316115
Cygnet Nursery – 01296 316183
Duckling Nursery – 01296 316147
Gosling Nursery – 01296 316146

Please note your baby may move nurseries and also cot spaces within nurseries. Ensure you note which nursery your baby is in so you can speak to the appropriate nurse if you phone the Unit. Nurses are available to update you about the care of your baby at any time but should you wish to speak to a doctor they are available on the ward round every morning from 09:30 onwards.
Please ask relatives not to phone the Unit as they are unable to give out information to them.

2) What facilities are available on the Unit?

There is a kitchen area for parents on the Unit to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate. There is a fridge for you to use for your food that you bring in and a microwave is also available for you to use. Whilst your baby is on the unit, we can provide a meal each day for parents. Please ask your nurse for further information and to see the menu. There is also a vending machine located at the entrance to the Unit. On site there is a canteen, café and WHS smiths to get food from. Asda is also on site at the entrance to the hospital.

There is a sitting room available for parents to relax and use whilst visiting their baby on the Unit. Siblings can also use this room whilst being supervised by an adult. Your visitors can also wait in the parents sitting room during visiting hours.

Prior to discharge you will be invited to “room in”. This will be when your baby is establishing a good feeding pattern, can maintain their own temperature in a cot and are gaining weight. There are two rooms available for parents to stay overnight and care for their baby/babies for one or two nights prior to discharge but this does not mean you cannot stay on the unit at other times. Although there is not much space next to your baby you are always welcome to stay as much as you like next to your baby in the comfy chair or if available a put-up bed can be used too.

3) What are the feeding procedures for babies on the Unit?

The Unit encourages and supports breast feeding and an admission to the Neonatal Unit does not prevent successful breast feeding. If your baby’s condition does not allow you to breast feed straight away then support can be given to you with expressing and there are also breast pumps on the Unit to use throughout your baby’s stay.

If you choose to bottle feed then the staff will support you to bottle feed safely. There is a variety of formula milk available.

4) If I require a breast pump, how do I hire one?

While on the Unit there are electric breast pumps available to use with privacy screens so you can express next to your baby or alternatively in the expressing room.

There are also some manual breast pumps available to purchase for £20 each or parents are able to contact the company Medella to hire an electric breast pump.

Phone Number – 0161 776 0400
Email – www.medela.co.uk

Please quote (NICU 30) for a discounted rate of £30 for the first two weeks followed by £30 every 30 days thereafter.

5) When can I visit the Unit?

Parents can visit at any time, however please do not visit if you are unwell. “Quiet time” for the babies is between 12:30 to 14:30 when lighting and noise are kept to a minimum and we try not to carry out any medical procedures in this time.

Siblings may visit after quiet time (from 2pm) if free from illness/sickness. No other children are allowed on the Unit and all other visitors must be over 18 years of age.

6) What are the rules for visitors?

Due to COVID at this time 4 designated people per baby, maximum of 2 per visit will be allowed to see your baby between the hours of 2pm – 7pm.

Only 2 visitors are permitted per cot space at any time, of which at least one must be a parent. There is a sitting room on the Unit which is available for parents and their visitors to use if you have more than one guest.

Infection control is important for the health and wellbeing of everyone so that we can all reduce healthcare associated infections. For this reason, there are infection control procedures in place:

  • All people coming onto the Unit should wash their hands with soap and water, dry them thoroughly and then use the hand gel.
  • Outside coats should be removed and left on the pegs provided before entering the Unit.
  • Visitors should ensure they are well and free from infections to avoid the babies becoming unwell. We also advise you to limit the number of visitors if your baby is unwell.
  • Please be aware that all babies on the Unit will have routine weekly MRSA swabs taken on a Wednesday. Babies also get weighed twice per week on Wednesdays and Sundays.

7) Can I bring my mobile phone?

Mobile phones are allowed but please ensure they are on silent. If you need to make or receive a phone call then please step outside the Unit to respect the babies, nurses, doctors, parents and other visitors.

Taking photos and sending text messages are both acceptable whilst still on the Unit though but please be mindful and do not take pictures of other babies or staff in the background unless permission has been sought.

8) Parking and travel tips?

Parents are entitled to free parking at Stoke Mandeville. Please ask your nurse or the ward clark to issue you with a card and a letter. The permits are given weekly and you need to renew your free parking weekly.  To gain access to this you require a letter from the Neonatal Unit to be taken to security desk in A&E entrance where your ticket will be issued.

A free shuttle bus runs regularly from High Wycombe Bus Station to Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Please obtain a letter from a nurse to prove that your baby is on the Neonatal unit. Gain a ticket from the reception area in the hospital to travel (reception at Stoke Mandeville is in the main restaurant).

  • Bus Service Numbers: 55, 62, 300, 4, 9, and Park & Ride PR1.

Local Taxi Numbers:

  • Falcon Taxis: 01296 580 000
  • Five 2’s Taxis: 01296 422 222

Please speak to a member of staff if you are having financial difficulties as there maybe some funds available to help with travel to see your baby. Or at times a room maybe available for you to stay in to reduce your travel.