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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Children's Services

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Visiting Oxford Newborn Care Unit

Find us

The Oxford Newborn Care Unit is in the John Radcliffe Hospital Women's Centre at the top of the John Radcliffe Hospital site (please see the hospital site map).

Come in through the Maternity entrance on Level 2 and ask at reception or follow directions for Newborn Care.

For travel information and directions to the John Radcliffe site, please see:

Layout of the Oxford Newborn Care Unit

The unit is divided into three areas: intensive care (ITU), high-dependency (HDU) and low-dependency (LDU).

Babies who are sick enough to go to ITU may progress through HDU then LDU before going home, whereas some babies are admitted directly to HDU or LDU.

Because of the way that the unit expanded, ITU, HDU and LDU are not necessarily in the order that they would have been, had the unit been planned from scratch, but the layout does appear to work well. ITU is divided into Acorn and Blossom, and HDU into rooms 1 and 2.

Visiting times

Parents and siblings can visit any time of the day or night (with some occasional exceptions to this rule - please see restriction below).

Other family members and friends are encouraged to visit:

  • 2.30pm - 4.30pm in the afternoon
  • 6.00pm - 8.00pm in the evening

To reduce the risk of viral infections being brought in to the unit, please only bring brothers and sisters, not friends or other children from the extended family. If brothers and sisters are unwell, please ask the nurse looking after your baby for advice before bringing them to visit.


All babies have a right to privacy, so please avoid staring and commenting on other babies on the unit.

Parents are encouraged to be present on ward rounds, but there are issues of confidentiality when the medical team are discussing other babies. You can remain for the whole round if listening to music through headphones (for instance with a smartphone) or you can come in and out of the ward for discussions about your baby.

Restrictions to access

There are some occasions when weask you to leave the area in which your baby is being cared for.

  1. During ward round discussions about other babies (see note above).
  2. When an X-ray is being performed. You do not need to move if you are more than six feet away from the machine.
  3. If there is a medical emergency.
  4. During planned surgery. Some babies are too sick to move to an operating theatre and will need to have their surgery on the unit.


Access to all areas is controlled by security lock. This is for the protection of your baby, and so that ward staff know who is coming into the ward. Please do not allow anyone to follow you into the unit, even if they appear to be a member of staff. Staff who work on the unit have access passes.

Infection control

All premature and sick newborn babies are at increased risk of infection.

It is essential that all staff, parents and visitors clean their hands on entering a clinical area and before and after handling baby. There is hand rub at each cot space and sinks throughout the unit.

Please tell us if you or a member of your family have a cold, gastroenteritis, a cold sore or chicken pox.

On admission to the unit for parents and babies, and at weekly intervals for babies, we screen for carriage of antibiotic resistant bacteria, so that if infection arises we know what antibiotics to use.