Summary of Unit Care

Our Newborn Intensive Care (NICU) is one of 5 specialities that make up Saint Mary’s Hospital (SMH) here in Manchester.

NICU provides specialist care for babies who:
– Are born prematurely from 23 weeks gestation and above.
– Have health problems diagnosed before and after birth.
– Full term babies who have become unwell after birth.

We are one of three specialist units in the Greater Manchester area, providing care for the smallest and sickest babies. Here at SMH, as well as proving care for our local population, we also look after some of the sickest babies in the North West. We also provide specialist care for babies with conditions, such as:
– Complex respiratory disease
– Complex renal and cardiac problems
– Neonates requiring surgical care
– Complex genetic and metabolic problems
– Diagnostic screening and treatment for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

Currently we have eight rooms on the unit providing different levels of care.

Intensive care (ICU) – for babies who are born prematurely or sick, needing held with breathing (ventilation) or other critical support.

High Dependency (HDU) – for babies who do not require ICU but still require complex care.

Special Care (SC) – for babies who are just establishing feeds, growing and developing after needing complex care.

Parking & Public Transport Information

Car – as we are in the city centre please allow for traffic build up. For a personalised driving map and directions to our site, simply click the link below and enter your start location.

Driving Map & Directions
Parking – there is a car multi story car park located on hathersage road, visitors are to park on floors 3 and below. This is a busy car park to please be patient and allow time to find a space.

Car Park Map

Whilst your baby is on NICU you will not have to pay for parking, please ask the ward clerks based in reception for your permit.

For anyone who doesn’t have a car parking permit these charges apply:

0 – 30 minutes: Free
30 minutes – 3 Hours: £2.50
3-6 Hours: £5.00
6-24 Hours: £15.00
Weekly Parking Permit: £20.00
Monthly Parking Permit: £40.00

Bus – SMH is very well served by buses. Twenty different routes from across Manchester all stop directly here, including our own hybrid bus (the 147) which costs £1.50 for a day ticket and travels from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station via the Universities, stopping on site. The First Bus 18 Service from Langley stops on the Boulevard close to all main hospital entrances.

Busses that stop at SMH

Cycle – We have cycle racks to lock your bike up outside all of our Central Site hospitals. It’s about a 15 minute ride to us from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station, or 10 minutes from Manchester Oxford Road Train Station.

For a personalised cycling map and directions to our site, simply click the link below and enter your start location.

Cycling Map & Directions

Train – Our closest railway stations are Manchester Oxford Road (MCO), approximately 1 mile away, and Manchester Piccadilly (MAN), approximately 1.5 miles away. Both are a short walk, cycle or bus ride from our Oxford Road location.
For a personalised rail timetable, simply click the link below and enter your starting station, destination (MCO or MAN) and travel time.

Personalised Rail Timetable

Walk – We’re based on Oxford Road and are very well connected to the rest of the city. It’s about a 40 minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station, or 20 minutes from Manchester Oxford Road Train Station.
For a personalised walking map and directions to our site, simply click the link below and enter your start location.

Walking Map & Directions

Taxi – There are three local taxi firms operating around the hospital site:
Radio Cars – 0161 236 8033
Union Cars – 0161 225 5566
Link Cars – 0161 225 1800

Visiting Times

We encourage you to be with your baby as often as you can, and we encourage you to take part in your baby’s cares.

Ward rounds in the Intensive Care rooms occur between 9.00 am – 11.30 am. At this time we will ask that you leave the room in order to protect the confidentiality of other babies; however you are welcome to be present when the doctors are reviewing your baby. Please ask your nurse about the ‘buzzer system’ and being around for that time.

Other relatives and visitors are welcome to visit you and your baby whilst on the NICU, but you or your partner must be present with them. Please respect other babies and their families by not looking at other babies in the rooms. We ask all visitors (apart from parents) to leave NICU by 10.00 pm.

We ask that there are only 2 visitors at the cot side (including parents) as the rooms can get very busy. There is a waiting area for visitors in Reception so that we can keep the corridors clear for staff to use.

No children under 16 may visit unless they are your baby’s siblings – this is to protect your baby from infection.

We aim to give babies a period of complete rest between 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm; we ask that only parents/carers visit during quiet time.

Parent Facilities

We have a kitchen and sitting room for parents to use. In the kitchen there is a microwave and fridge – please label food that you put in the fridge. There are also facilities to make a hot drink.

We have 5 rooms available on the unit for parents to stay overnight and priority is given to those parents who have a baby requiring intensive care or for babies who are close to discharge. We encourage parents to stay overnight with their baby prior to going home.

We do also have access to Ronald McDonald house, this is a home from home and gives you the opportunity to be closer and spend more time with your baby.

Ronald McDonald

We also have 2 expressing rooms for mums to use when expressing, and 2 milk kitchens to help store you milk and sterilise your equipment.

Parent support

We have a neonatal unit counsellor and a Family Support Team who provide psychological and on-going practical support for families. We have NICU volunteers who are ex parents who provide peer support.

There are a parent support group faciliatated by the NICU counsellor that runs weekly and a weekly Breastfeeding/Expressing drop in which is run by the infant feeding coordinator where parents can get practical advice and tips to support their lactation and feeding.

There is also a parent support Facebook group called NICU Babble which is run by an ex NICU mum.

Sibling Areas

We have a sibling craft session run by a volunteer and we have plans for a sibling play area.


Coffee – there is a Costa Coffee on the ground floor of the Children’s Hospital (RMCH) and again in SMH.

Food – there is a canteen in between RMCH and SMH. Here there is fresh food served from Sodexo, and a subway here also (closes at 8pm). There is also a canteen in the Eye Hospital that is open 24 hours.

Shops – M&S Simply Food, located opposite the Eye Hospital on the boulevard. WHSmiths on the ground floor of RMCH.

There are also a whole host of shops and restaurants on oxford road for you to use.

Support Resources

We have a lot of support for parents here at SMH;
– Feeding coordinator – for advice and support with feeding your baby.
– Unit counsellor – offers group and one to one support throughout your stay on NICU. Here for your health and wellbeing.
– Family support – we have family support team to help you throughout your stay, with any support that you may need
– Chaplin – we have access to a chaplaincy service for any religion, any time of day.
– Unit information booklet to refer to at any point of your stay.

The nursing and medical team are keen to provide the best care possible.  With this ethos in mind we have working groups and support networks for parents and the wider family.  They include:-
– ROP Screening team
– Family support team who offer support and advice to families.
– Pathway coordinator to support discharge and transfer
– Newborn resuscitation skills lessons
– Bereavement support team
– Neonatal Outreach/ Inreach Team

We also have links with other allied health professionals outside of the neonatal unit such as:-
– Physiotherapists
– Dieticians
– Speech and Language

Support for Going Home

The family support team and nursing staff support families getting ready for discharge and the neonatal outreach team provide new-born resuscitation skills prior to going home.

The Outreach Team visit the family at home until it is felt the support is no longer required or is transferred to another agency.

Unit Contact Information

Newborn Intensive Care Unit (Ward 68)
Saint Mary’s Hospital
Oxford Road
M13 9WL

Switchboard Tel: 0161 276 1234
Neonatal unit Tel: 0161 901 2700

Trusts website:

Key Staff Members

Clinical Lead: Dr Kristin Tanney

Matron/Lead Nurse: Kath Eaton