Special Care Nurseries provide specialist care to sick full-term and pre-term babies who require specialised care.
There are three Special Care Nurseries in NNSW LHD; Lismore Base, The Tweed and Grafton Hospitals. A baby may be transferred to a hospital outside of NNSW LHD if neonatal intensive care services are required for babies less than 32 weeks’ gestation or who are critically ill. This is usually to Gold Coast University Hospital, Brisbane or John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. Special Care Nurseries have staff Specialists, Paediatricians and nursing staff. Allied Health provides social work, speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy support to families and babies.
Lismore Base Hospital and The Tweed Hospital Special Care Nurseries (SCN)
The Special Care Nursery at Lismore Base and The Tweed Hospitals are NSW Health Role Delineated level 4 Neonatal Units. They provide specialist care to sick full-term and pre-term babies.
They care for babies born at or more than 32 weeks’ gestation with minimal to moderate complications. They can provide short-term complex care in consultation with Hospital neonatal services who offer a higher level of care. They also provide ongoing care to babies no longer requiring higher level service once they are at or more than 30 weeks corrected age and considered stable by a level 5 or 6 service. This babies may be transferred back to the Lismore or Tweed SCN for ongoing care until they are well enough to go home. They also support the lower level services Grafton, Lismore and Tweed for consultation, escalation and transfer.
The Special Care Nursery at Lismore Base Hospital has four special care nursery cots. A new redeveloped Special Care Nursery was opened in May 2017.
The Special Care Nursery at The Tweed Hospital has six special care nursery cots.
Grafton Base Hospital Special Care Nursery
There is also a level 3 Special Care Nursery at Grafton Base Hospital. Grafton Base Hospital Special Care Nursery manages babies greater than 34 weeks’ gestation with minimal to moderate complications. They can provide short-term complex care in consultation with a level 4 and/or level 5 Neonatal Centre. The Nursery has four cots.
Grafton Base consults with and refers to Lismore Base hospital if a higher level of care is required.
Murwillumbah District Hospital and Byron Central Hospital
These hospitals do not have a Special Care Nursery. They consult with and refer to The Tweed and Lismore Base Hospitals if a higher level of care for newborns is required. Medical officers are on site to provide newborn resuscitation if necessary.