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Newborn Care - Neonatal Unit

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Baby in an incubator

A baby in an incubator

We are currently recruiting staff for our expanded Newborn Intensive Care Unit - to find out more please visit:

The Neonatal Unit provides specialist medical, surgical and cardiology care to newborn babies.

Some patients come from Oxfordshire, but others are transferred because of problems diagnosed during pregnancy.

Babies also come to us from other hospitals in the south of England. GPs, health visitors and midwives refer babies who develop new problems after leaving hospital.

We have full access to services in the John Radcliffe Hospital, including:

  • cardiology
  • surgery
  • radiology
  • pathology
  • microbiology / infectious diseases
  • physiotherapy
  • speech and language therapists
  • dietitians.

We have close links with the High Risk Pregnancy and Fetal Medicine teams, and the Prenatal Diagnosis Unit.

We examine all babies born in the John Radcliffe Hospital and follow up babies after they leave the unit.

There is a range of facilities for parents including a breast-milk expressing room, a sitting room, a quiet room and a flat for rooming-in before discharge. We have one of only 16 human milk banks in the UK.

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Visiting times on the Neonatal Unit

Usual visiting times

  • Intensive Care Unit (ITU) / High Dependency Unit (HDU): 2.00pm - 4.00pm
  • Low Dependency Unit (LDU): 2.00pm - 4.00pm and 8.00pm - 9.00pm


There are open visiting times for parents, however, to ensure patient confidentiality all parents are asked to leave the unit during doctors' ward rounds.

Usual times for ward rounds are:

  • Intensive Care Unit: 9.00am - 10.00am and 5.00pm - 6.00pm
  • High Dependency Unit: 9.00am - 10.00am and 4.30pm - 5.00pm
  • Low Dependency Unit: 9.00am - 10.00am

Sibling visiting

Sibling visiting is permitted during the following times:

  • Intensive Care Unit: 4.00pm - 5.00pm
  • High Dependency unit: 4.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Low Dependency Unit: open visiting accompanied by a parent

Family members / friends

A maximum of two other adults may visit during times above, accompanied by a parent.

There may be occasions when, due to a new admission or a surgical intervention, you will be asked to leave the unit. There is a parents' room where you may wait until you can return to the unit. Tea and coffee facilities are available.

Quiet hour

Our quiet hour is 12.00 - 1.00pm.

During this hour we like to turn the lights down and allow babies to sleep or relax.

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Find us and contact us

  • Neonatal Unit
    Level 2, Women's Centre
    John Radcliffe Hospital
    Oxford OX3 9DU
  • Dedicated telephone line for parents of babies in the Neonatal Unit: 01865 220408
  • Neonatal Unit secretaries
    Tel: 01865 221355 / 6
  • Matron: Sharon Buchanan
    Tel: 01865 221362

Working for us

If you are interested in working for the Neonatal Unit, please visit:

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Support groups

The Neonatal Unit is supported by the registered charity, Support for Sick Newborn and their Parents (SSNAP).

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