Neonatal unit

Service category: Women's services

Service location(s): East Surrey Hospital

The SASH neonatal unit is situated at East Surrey Hospital, close to the delivery suite and the post-natal wards, and admits over 400 babies every year.

Admission criteria is for babies 27 weeks gestation and above who require medical treatment.

Telephone number: 01737 231 765

Our state-of-the-art unit

In 2020 we completed an £8.5m revamp of the unit, doubling our capacity and adding state-of-the-art facilities.

The space around the incubators quadrupled in size giving room for both parents to sit by their baby with a clearly defined personal space marked by different floor colouring. 

The unit has a comfortable expressing room for parents, a quiet room for when people would like to step out of the clinical environment and two side rooms with en-suite facilities. We have state-of-the-art incubators which allow parents to record their voice, heartbeat or a story for their baby.

Pendants attached to the ceiling hold vital equipment such as monitors, pumps and computers, leaving the floor space clear and uncluttered. The equipment can easily be moved to allow parents greater access to their baby.

All incubators and cot spaces have a natural light source, in addition to new lighting with sensitive controls meaning that babies gradually gain awareness of day and night to aid their development.

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Visiting times

While visiting is restricted in much of the hospital during COVID, we still enable both parents to be with babies in our neonatal unit. Please check with the team about visiting times and other guidelines you may need to follow.

Lead: Dr Toria Klutse, paediatric consultant

Lead specialist neonatal nurse: To be confirmed

Tel: 01737 768 511 x 6769

The unit has a dedicated neonatal nurse team, and a unique two-week rota system of consultants to offer the best patient care – the same consultant will be on duty, from 9am to 5pm, every weekday for two weeks, giving parents continuity and reassurance.  Parents are updated on a regular basis by the consultant, or one of the specialist registrars on the daily ward round.

The Trust has nine consultants working in paediatric medicine, six of whom participate in neonatal care. There is also support from a paediatric dietician on a regular basis for the babies in special care, and from speech and language therapists for babies with a cleft palate.

Recent investment has been in providing a Neonatal Outreach Nurse, which provides earlier discharge for stable babies and extra support for those with ongoing needs in their own homes.

The SASH neonatal unit is part of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Network.

Click here to view the virtual tour of our neonatal unit.

Virtual tours of all 13 neonatal units in Surrey, Sussex and Kent can be found here.

Inpatient neonatal care is for all babies born at East Surrey Hospital at 27 weeks and above. Sometimes, pregnant women below 27 weeks present to the delivery unit and are not in a position to be transferred to a tertiary centre in-utero and therefore the baby is delivered here and transferred out using the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Transport Service. Such babies are then transferred back once they are above 27 weeks and stable for continuing care in our unit.

A baby born at East Surrey and discharged home, but presented to hospital within the first 7 days of life, may be considered for admission to the Neonatal Unit depending on their illness.

If a baby is born less than 27 weeks gestation, it will be stabilised in the Neo-Natal Unit before being transferred to St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey or Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Transport Service.

If a baby, after short term intensive care at East Surrey Hospital, remains unstable, or has complex needs, or requires surgery, he or she will be transferred to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, or St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, or one of the London Neonatal Intensive Care Units for their ongoing care.

The transfer is facilitated by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Transport Service, which runs a 24-hour retrieval service.

Dr Abdul Khader runs a High-Risk Neonatal Clinic for babies born less than 30 weeks. The clinic is held at East Surrey Hospital on Wednesday mornings. These babies will have a follow-up for the first two years of their life, the frequency will be as per the medical needs of the baby.