Nhs_choices Bthft Bradford Teaching HospitalsNHS Foundation Trust NHS Choices
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What we do

The Neonatal department at BRI provides all levels of newborn medical care, including intensive care, to babies from Bradford and across the West Yorkshire region. Women may be referred during pregnancy when very early birth is anticipated or babies transferred to Bradford after delivery in the local hospital for specialist care. We welcome pre-admission visits from parents when admission is anticipated.

About one baby in 10 needs additional medical care in the newborn period with one in a hundred needing intensive care. We aim to keep mothers and babies together whenever possible - please see the section on transitional care below.

Facilities for Parents

We know that parents need looking after too; there is a sitting room for parents and a kitchen with free tea and coffee. Parents can stay on the Neonatal Unit, particularly if they live a long way away or need to ‘room in’ with baby before going home. ‘Rooming in’ is when you stay with your baby for a few days to get more confident caring for your baby in preparation for leaving. We have two bedrooms on the Neonatal Unit and another two bedrooms a short walk away on the second floor of the maternity unit for parents to use who live a distance away.

Visiting policy

Parents are our partners in caring for their babies. There are no restrictions on visiting and you are welcomed and encouraged to be with your baby at any time day or night. To avoid overcrowding which can increase infection risk to the babies, we aim to have only two visitors at each cot side. The full visiting policy explaining about other visitors can be accessed here.

If parents are unable to visit through sickness or needing to be at home for other reasons, we have developed an innovative video-conferencing facility (BabyView) through which parents/families can see babies and speak to staff members. Speak to the nurse looking after your baby if you want to use this facility.

Meet the Team


Dr Sue Chatfield

Secretary: 01274 362524
Special interests: Postgraduate medical education

Dr Chris Day

Secretary: 01274 382020
Special interests: Clinical lead for Yorkshire and Humber Neonatal Network, newborn screening

Dr Sunita Seal

Secretary: 01274 382020
Special interests: Service lead for neonatology, lead for NIPE programme and Baby Friendly initiative

Dr Sam Oddie

Secretary: 01274 364524
Special interests: National clinical lead for Neonatal Audit Programme, neonatal research

Dr Sam Wallis

Secretary: 01274 382668
Special interests: Neonatal cardiology, neonatal transport, guideline lead

Dr Chakra Vasudevan

Secretary: 01274 382668
Special interests: Medical education, palliative care

Dr Chris Vas
Secretary: 01274 382668
Special interests: Neonatal transport

Kelly Young

Kelly is our lead nurse and her key responsibility is to supervise and provide day-to-day management of the Neonatal Unit. She promotes a high standard of family-centred nursing care and a positive experience for all families on the unit. Kelly ensures we strive to improve the service and provide a quality experience for babies and their families, ensuring everyone is treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

We welcome feedback from families about their experience and we use this to improve services. Kelly is happy to see any family members and discuss any issues with them. Please speak to the nurse in charge to arrange this either in person or over the telephone.

Open and transparent communication channels are encouraged to help the ward team do the right thing for the people we care for, to be bold when they have good ideas and to speak up when things go wrong to ensure improvement.

Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs)

Carol Hudson
Alison Wolfenden

Advanced neonatal nurse practitioners are experienced nurses who have additional specialist training in neonatal care. They work alongside the medical staff carrying out specialist interventions such as newborn resuscitation, vascular access - which makes life-saving haemodialysis treatment possible - and prescribing medication.

Nursing team

The nursing team are led on each shift by a nurse co-ordinator, seen here wearing the red badge. The team are responsible for planning and coordinating nursing care during each day and would be happy to speak to any parent if you have any concerns.

The senior nurses are known as sister or charge nurse and wear purple uniforms. Staff nurses wear lilac uniforms with a purple trim. All babies will have a nurse allocated to their care throughout each nursing shift. As a neonatal unit within a teaching hospital we will often have student nurses working under the supervision of a registered nurse. Babies needing less technical care may be allocated to the care of a nursery nurse or a neonatal support worker who will work in partnership with colleagues in the nursing team. Housekeepers in pale lilac with yellow trim carry out vital tasks in helping nursing staff with equipment preparation and cleaning.

Ward clerk

During the day a ward clerk is on duty, and may be the first person you meet as you come into the unit. They will often open the door buzzer and help you find your way around the unit while looking after the day-to-day administration of medical records, supplies etc. If no ward clerk is on duty the door buzzer will be answered by the clinical staff. Although we will try our best to keep delays to a minimum at times, all staff may be busy with a baby. We hope that you do not have to wait too long and will understand that the babies always have to be our first priority.

Medical secretarial team

The unit is supported by a team of secretaries: Kathryn Wilkinson, Joanne Dunbar and Nasim Jamal. 
Contact numbers: 01274 382020 364524 and 382668. Fax: 01274 282259. 

Intensive and high-dependency care

Most newborn babies are well after birth but some need additional care in the neonatal service. Bradford Neonatology delivers care alongside mothers when possible on the maternity wards or transitional care, but approximately one baby in 10 needs admission to the Neonatal Unit. 

Some babies are born very early and in Bradford we specialise in the care of babies of all gestations. We are a referral unit for babies from across Yorkshire and can offer all intensive care treatments available to babies as early as 23 weeks gestation. Only around one baby in 100 needs intensive care, when babies can be very poorly and some need to stay on the Neonatal Unit for a long time. 

Parents are important members of the Neonatal Unit team and we will keep them informed and involved throughout their stay. For more information about babies who need extra care, please see the BLISS information page.

Special Care

As babies improve they move from intensive care areas to the lower dependency parts of the Neonatal Unit. As they start to take oral feeds and get closer to home we will be moving them from an incubator into a cot and closer to normal care.

Some babies require only special care support from birth and will be admitted directly into the High Dependancy/Special care nursery. They will receive nursing and medical care appropriate to their individual needs and will progress towards normal care.

Transitional care

Located on ward M4 – Top floor Women and Newborn’s block

Contact 01274 383151

The Transitional Care Unit allows us to provide special care many for babies and mothers together. This might be appropriate for babies needing tube feeds, intravenous antibiotics or other extra cares not possible on the postnatal wards. Mothers might come back in to spend time with their babies before going home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Fathers are welcome on the unit at any time, but to help maintain a peaceful environment for mums and babies other visitors are asked to visit between 2-4.30pm and 6-7.30pm.


The Children’s and Neonatal Research Team have a strong presence on the Neonatal Unit, and help the clinical team put research projects at the heart of clinical care. 

Clinical and research staff approach the parents of many of the babies on the unit to see if they would like their baby to join in research projects we are running. They vary from simply collecting information to opportunities to have new treatments in addition to standard care.

Where new treatments are offered as part of research, this is usually as part of a 'randomised, controlled tria',” where a treatment is compared to usual care. The details of each opportunity to participate are explained to families in detail, with lots of opportunities to ask questions. A leaflet will accompany each study. Parents always have a choice about whether their infant participates in research projects.

The clinical and research teams are enthusiastic about offering families such opportunities. Bradford has a long record of taking part in research, and much of the routine care we deliver now has been affected by the research projects we have run, with the help of families, in the past.

Follow us on twitter @child_res

Neonatal Outreach Team

To support babies and families at home, we provide a seven-day outreach service. The nurses and midwives in the outreach team will liaise with families and the Neonatal Unit, playing an important part in helping babies following their discharge home. They will check on baby’s progress at home, supporting feeding, checking weight and carrying out blood tests etc.

They can be contacted on 01274 364922 between 8am-6pm weekdays and 8.30am-4pm on weekends. For urgent enquiries, please contact the Neonatal Unit Coordinator on 01274 364522.

As part of a new initiative, more babies are being discharged and tube-fed at home. This can help babies to be discharged home successfully and help mothers successfully breastfeed. This approach may not be suitable for every baby.

Outpatient department

Once your baby has been discharged from the Neonatal Unit, it is important that the consultant neonatologists arrange follow-up appointments to check on their progress. An appointment will be arranged and you will be notified when to attend. The appointment will take place in the Children’s Outpatients department at St Luke’s Hospital. The neonatal team will continue to monitor your baby’s progress over the first couple of years and families will be able to access a wide-ranging multidisciplinary service consisting of specialist dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and child development services (if appropriate).

Screening tests

Babies born early may need extra screening tests which will be carried out on the unit. Of particular importance are eye checks which are needed for all babies born before 32 weeks. These specialised eye checks are carried out by Miss Pilling or Mr Bradbury, both consultant ophthalmologists (specialist eye doctors). Staff will explain if your baby needs these tests which are performed when babies are a few weeks old.

Neonatal Network

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Bradford is one of four Intensive Care Units and 14 other Neonatal Units that deliver care for the babies of the Yorkshire and Humber Region. We work closely with the Embrace Infant and Children’s Transport Service to ensure that babies can access the right care at the right time.

More information about the network, Embrace and all the units can be found on the Network app, which can be downloaded for Android and iphones from the App store.