Patient Care Units
Special Care Baby Unit
The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is a 35 bed unit caring for babies needing short and long term observation and specialised care born at the WCH, born elsewhere in South Australia, the Northern Territory, western Victoria and the far west of New South Wales.
SCBU also provides a Neonatal Early Discharge (NED) program. This allows some babies to go home early on gavage (tube) feeds. Your baby's care is continued in the comfort of your own home with regular visits from experienced SCBU Midwives/Nurses.
Accessing this service
Information for families
A multidisciplinary team provides care for babies in SCBU. These babies are usually born ill and/or prematurely. The unit supports and actively encourages the transfer of babies to their local hospital once they no longer need specialised care.
Adjacent to SCBU is a Parenting Unit which provides education and support for parents and families prior to your baby going home. A waiting room is located near the nursery entrance.
Accommodation is available in nearby motels, hotels and apartments.
The Butterfly Card scheme assists families where babies are admitted to hospital for an anticipated period of more than a week or who have frequent admissions or outpatient/day therapy appointments. Please speak to the staff caring for your baby for further information.
Please ask the Midwife/Nurse who is caring for your baby if you wish to see a social worker, interpreter or minister of religion.
Parents and Caregivers – Caring for your Baby
We welcome the involvement of parents and caregivers while babies are in SCBU. Our care is family-centred, meeting the physical, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual needs of the family.
Parents are important members of the team – we look forward to working with you during your baby’s stay. We encourage you to visit frequently and also welcome phone calls at any time if you just want to check in how your baby is progressing when you are not at the hospital.
The unit provides a family centred model of care and developmentally supportive care to all babies. We encourage parents to have an active role in the care of your baby. We encourage you to be part of the ward rounds that occur each day, as well as assisting with hands on care of your baby wherever possible.
Neonatal Outreach Service
A Home Visiting Service is provided by experienced nurses and Â midwives from SCBU for parents and babies who live within 20 – 25 km of the WCH. This service provides care and support within the home setting, and also provides support for parents whose baby has been discharged home on tube feeds via the NED program.
Referrals to other support agencies such as Child and Youth Health, Parenting Network are also offered.
Services and Facilities
Babies in SCBU can easily catch infections so it is very important for visitors to clean their hands using on entering and leaving the unit, and before and during care of your baby.
People who are unwell must not visit the Nursery.
You may wish to make arrangements for other siblings to be cared for while you are visiting. Siblings may be cared for in the WCH creche.
Fax: 8161 9618
Babies in the SCBU are cared for by a large multidisciplinary team including:
The WCH has an ongoing commitment to research and evidence based practice. Many research activities are conducted with support from the neonatal staff.
last modified: 28 Jan 2021