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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 infection.

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.

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.

Every member of our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so please feel relaxed in approaching us.

We will do all we can to answer your questions and queries.

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 easily identified.

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.

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 ready.

Follow this link for more information on the Greater Manchester Network and the transfer of infants.