Question 1: Why can’t other family members visit when I’m not there?
We recommend that you do not bring large numbers of visitors to
see your baby. This is in order to prevent infection,
however, we do appreciate how important it is to have your family
network with you for support.
Relatives and friends of the infant must be accompanied by a
parent or they will not be allowed onto the Unit for security
reasons. Visitors should be asked to stay with the infant they are
visiting and not to look at other babies nearby, as other parents
may find this offensive.
Although parents can visit 24 hours a day, all other visitors
must leave the Unit by 10.00 pm as hospital access is reduced at
this time to ensure the safety of our patients.
The maximum number of visitors at the cotside is two at any
one time, with one being a parent.
Question 2: Who has to wash their hands?
As premature or sick infants can be vulnerable to infection, it
is important that very high standards of hygiene are
maintained. All visitors should be made aware of the need for
strict hand washing to prevent infection.
Everyone who visits the unit will have to wash
their hands first and use an alcohol rub. Parental hand
hygiene assessments must be completed for all parents.
All visitors should be instructed to remove rings, watches or
jewellery before they wash their hands.
Parents should be advised to keep visitors other than
grandparent and siblings to a minimum to reduce the risk of
Visitors should be encouraged to use lockers which are available
at reception for outdoor clothes and valuables. These lockers
require a £1 coin which is returnable. In order help prevent
infection; outdoor clothes are not to be worn at cot side.
Question 3: What if someone is unwell but wishes to visit?
Visitors who have a cough or cold, any kind of infection or have
been exposed to chickenpox should be asked not to visit.
If parents are unwell and not able to visit, the family support
team should be notified in order to provide support.
Question 4: I have a lot of questions - who should I ask?
Every member of our team would be more than happy to answer any
questions you may have, so please feel relaxed in approaching
We will do all we can to answer your questions and queries.
Question 5: Can I bring in clothes for my baby?
When babies are initially admitted to the NICU they are often
best cared for in their incubator unclothed, which helps us to
observe their progress closely.
Once your baby is getting stronger, we will ask you to bring
some clothes in and start to clothe him/her. If you bring
your own baby clothes, it is safest to take them home to launder in
order to reduce the risk of loss. We also recommend that you
mark your baby's clothing in some way so that they can be more
You may also bring their own sheets and blankets if you
wish. The nurses caring for your baby will let you know when
your baby is ready for their own clothes.
Question 6: Saint Mary's Hospital is not my local hospital and I have been told my baby will be transferred to local neonatal unit. Why is this?
Neonatal units are designed to care for babies with
different needs. In Greater Manchester there are three
Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU) and five Local Neonatal Units
(LNU). Our aim is to ensure that your baby is cared for in
the most appropriate unit whilst also making sure they are as close
to home as possible.
Saint Mary's is a Regional Unit and we often have babies brought
here from other Units around the North West region. If this has
happened to your baby, we will care for them until they are well
enough to return to your local hospital.
If you booked to have your baby at Saint Mary's Hospital but do
not live in Central Manchester, your baby will be transferred to a
special care unit nearer to your home when they are well enough and
no longer require intensive care. If you have had your care
transferred to Saint Mary's because your baby needs surgery, you
will be transferred back to your local hospital when your baby is
Follow this link for more information on the
Greater Manchester Network and the transfer of