The Newcastle Neonatal Service

DSC_5846The Newcastle Neonatal Service is based in Ward 35 at Newcastle RVI and provides highly specialist care for premature and sick newborn babies.

It is a “level 3” unit, which means that it contains both neonatal intensive care (NICU) and special care (SCBU) facilities.

Although based in Newcastle upon Tyne, the unit looks after babies from across the North East and Cumbria. Babies are often transferred to the RVI from other hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Network, which stretches from the borders of Cumbria and Northumberland into North Yorkshire and as far south as Northallerton.


Ward 35 in numbers:

700-750 premature and sick babies are cared for on Ward 35 each year

200-240 babies a year are transferred to the RVI from across the region, either before or after birth

140 members of staff work on Ward 35

34 babies can be looked after at any one time

Awards and Accreditations of Ward 35:



  • The unit was named “2012 Neonatal Unit of the Year” at the Big Heart Awards


  • A High Commendation Award from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity (APPGM) was received in 2011 in recognition of a new support system which led to a major increased in the number of mothers providing breast milk for their babies
  • Staff from the unit were finalists in the Nursing Times Awards 2011, where new initiatives to empower parents through a family centered approach were recognised as examples of best practice



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