Our care units
The safety of our expectant mothers and their babies is the utmost priority at The Portland Hospital.
The hospital has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to ensure your baby’s arrival into the world goes as smoothly as possible.
In the unlikely event that a complication arises during birth there is a dedicated operating theatre for emergency caesarean sections and a resident consultant obstetric anaesthetist on site 24 hours a day.
A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Special Care Baby Unit, Transitional Care Unit and Adult High Dependency Unit are situated within the hospital, giving you and your baby immediate access to high quality, specialist medical care should this be required for you or your baby.
The onsite Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) provides care for newborn babies who require medical treatment due to being born early or because they have become unwell. The SCBU consists of 3 cots and parents are encouraged to stay with their babies within the hospital.
The care given in SCBU is less intensive than that given in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Sometimes babies who are very ill start their care in NICU and then transfer to SCBU as their condition improves.
Transitional Care (TC) allows babies who require treatment or monitoring, which exceeds standard routine care for a newborn, to be cared for by the obstetric team in close proximity to their mother on the postnatal floor. This prevents unnecessary separation of mother and baby, and reduces the need for newborns to be admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
The consultant paediatrician will decide if a baby requires admission to TC after discussing this with the parents.
Babies suitable for TC include those who have been discharged from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or SCBU and who are well or are improving, such as:
- Babies who require phototherapy for jaundice but are otherwise well.
- Babies of 35-36 weeks gestational age (slightly preterm) who do not require cardiac monitoring and with no other problems.
- Babies weighing 1.8kg and/or above who are small for their gestational age.
- Babies who require additional support to maintain their temperature through a heated cot due to hypothermia (body temperature less than 36°C)
- Babies who require the use of tube feeds until breastfeeding/bottle feeding is established.
- Babies who require regular observations eg heart rate or temperature.
- Babies of mothers with well controlled insulin-dependent or gestational diabetes.
- Babies requiring intravenous antibiotics where the baby appears well.
- Babies who require frequent observations for Group B Strep, prolonged ruptured of membranes and mild respiratory distress.
- Babies with a lower than normal blood glucose (hypoglycaemia).
The High Dependency Unit (HDU), situated within the Labour Ward, is for women who require more intensive observation, treatment and care before, during or after delivery. The HDU has specialist monitoring equipment for both mother and baby, and provides critical care for women with problems such as high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia, heavy bleeding from the womb/placenta site or pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney problems. The HDU is sometimes used for twin deliveries.
Women requiring more intensive care treatment are guaranteed a bed in our specialist intensive care unit at our sister hospital, The Princess Grace. In 2015 the number of transfers was zero.