STRUCTURE: A new nine bed special care unit for mothers and their babies has opened at St Peter’s Hospital.

The new SCU, which replaces an old six bed transitional care unit, is managed by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and staffed by neonatal nurses led by sister Therese Nursey.

Ms Nursey said: “The aim of the SCU is to keep mother and baby together when the baby needs extra special care, for example when the baby is premature, needs monitoring, and/or requires IV fluids.”

Admissions to the new unit can be either directly after delivery or babies who have previously received care in NICU and are nearly ready for discharge.

The new SCU has six beds for transitional care, three beds for special care babies with monitors and access to IV fluids, plus a treatment room for ward attendees where babies’ blood tests and doctor’s reviews can take place.

The extra three beds for special care babies will release cot space on NICU for sicker infants.