It is not unusual to feel nervous about taking your baby home for the first time. The Neonatal outreach team Supports families with babies who have stayed on our NICU at Peterborough City Hospital or SCBU at Hinchingbrooke hospital. If you have had a stay on one of our post-natal wards e.g. transitional care or Lilac ward and have had a baby that has been born before 37 weeks or below 2.5kg, you are also offered the support of the Neonatal Outreach team.
We are a team of experienced neonatal nurses and nursery nurses, who are specifically trained in the care of the neonate. We are based on the NICU at Peterborough City Hospital and SCBU at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
We aim to work with you to support and empower you to care for your baby at home following early discharge from the unit. If your baby is tube feeding but taking some oral feeds we can support discharge and help establish feeding at home, this may not be suitable for all families and will be offered to families on a case by case basis. If your baby is still needing oxygen once they reach 36 weeks corrected gestation, the Outreach team will talk to you about the practical side of caring for your baby at home. We will meet with you on the ward before discharge to arrange a home visit, during your baby’s stay and together identify your baby’s needs, agreeing a plan of care. The best time to meet you on NICU is on ward round on Thursday mornings from 08.30.
Contacting the service:
A Member of the Outreach team can be contacted in the office between the hours of 8am and 9am on:
- 01733 677235 – Peterborough
- 01480 416238 – Hinchingbrooke
There is an answerphone facility on the above numbers to take messages when the office is unattended. Please leave your name and contact number and and an outreach nurse will contact you back as soon as possible. Visits are usually between the hours or 09.00 and 16.00 hours.
Once you are home
Once you are home we aim to contact you within 48 hours, this is a chance to talk about how you are feeling, and we can answer any questions that you may have, we will then arrange a visit with you. We will visit and support with Feeding, we will weigh your baby and monitor they weight gain. We can take observations, blood samples, change a nasogastric tube. We work closely with the infant feeding team at the hospital and in community.
Please be aware that Outreach is not compulsory and does not replace existing agencies such as your midwife (if your baby is under 10 days old at discharge), health visitor, or GP – we work alongside these to best support you. The amount of Outreach support you receive is dependent on individual needs and circumstances. We will keep in regular contact with your Health Visitor/GP/dietician/salt/physiotherapist and Consultant Paediatrician to ensure your baby receives the care they need.
If your baby still requires medical support after 44 weeks gestation, their care will be handed over to the Children’s Community Nursing team. Your Health Visitor will continue to provide support throughout.
How often will we visit or phone?
The number of visits/phone contacts we make will depend on each individual family and the needs identified—we will speak with you about what is best for you. We are able to visit/phone 5-7 days a week, and we will arrange our visits/phone contacts in advance with you. On occasion, it may be that we bring a children’s nursing/midwifery student out with us on visits.
We cover a large geographical area, so we ask families to be understanding about punctuality for home visits. Because of our workload in the community and in discharge planning at hospital, we are unable to give precise appointment times. We will text or phone the morning of the visit to confirm our visit that day. We will endeavour to ring if we are delayed, but this may not always be possible. Please keep us updated with any appointments you may already have at hospital so that we can help make best use of your time. Due to bad weather or staff sickness, we may have to cancel or rearrange appointments at very short notice. However, we will always try to get to you or at least speak with you on the telephone.
To ensure the Outreach programme meets the needs of its users, a questionnaire is given to all parents who have received Outreach support. These are completely confidential, and you can write as little or as much as you wish – obviously the more you write the more useful this is to us, so that we can continuously improve the service we offer.