Return To Services

Service Information

Colchester Hospital Neonatal Unit

Welcome to the Neonatal Unit at Colchester Hospital

We hope that your baby’s stay on the Neonatal Unit will be a satisfactory and comfortable experience. The following information is to help clarify any questions you may have about the unit. If you have any concerns please speak directly to the nurse in charge or phone the ward.

We are a level 2 Neonatal Unit in the Eastern Region. Our unit has 17 cots and provides care for babies who require intensive, high dependency and special care during the newborn period.

The unit has a dedicated team of nurses and doctors specialised in the care of the premature or newborn babies who require additional support. As a team we aim to deliver family centred care. Parents are encouraged to become as involved as possible in the care of their baby. We will discuss the care and treatment your baby requires and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

The medical team carries out a ward round at around 9.30am every day, so your baby will be seen by a Paediatrican and the nursing team. You are welcome to attend ward round when you baby is being seen and ask any questions. The ward round is confidential so other parents will be given head phones or asked to leave the nursery when the team are reviewing your baby. If you wish to speak to doctor at any time please ask a member of staff. Please respect the privacy of other babies and families on the Neonatal Unit.

While your baby is on the Neonatal Unit please provide nappies, cotton wool, cotton buds and muslins. You are welcome to bring in your own clothes and blankets for your baby but please arrange for these to be taken home and laundered. Please label any clothes, blankets or muslins that you bring in to prevent loss.

Contact the Colchester Hospital NNU

01206 742 857

Take a virtual tour of the NNU at Colchester Hospital

Colchester Hospital Neonatal Unit video for parents (The video opens in a new window which takes you to YouTube where accessibility controls may not be supported)

The neonatal team

Nursing staff can be identified by the uniforms they wear. The ward manager and the senior nursing staff wear a navy blue uniform, deputy sisters a royal blue uniform, staff nurses have a blue stripe uniform and nursery nurses a lilac uniform. Staff will introduce themselves to you day by day. Your baby will have a nurse allocated to look after them during each shift. The unit sister or matron are available to speak to you at any time, to address any concerns you may have.

Quiet time

In order to promote an environment that beneficial for your baby’s development we aim to keep noise levels down where possible. Quiet time takes place on the unit between 1pm and 3pm. During this time lights are turned down, only procedures that are urgent will be carried out on your baby and noise will be kept to a minimum (where possible).

Parents facilities

A family room is provided for your use, where toys are available for baby’s brothers and sisters to play with. The unit has a small kitchen where hot drinks can be made by parents and a microwave oven is available for heating food. Please do not take hot drinks in the nurseries unless they are in a travel mug. Travel mugs can be purchased for £2, please ask a member of staff.

When your baby is nearing discharge you will be offered the opportunity to stay with your baby in one of our mother and baby rooms on the unit. This can help to give you the confidence to provide care for your baby prior to going home. Whilst in the bedrooms breakfast can be obtained from the Neonatal Unit kitchen. Mothers are provided with a hot lunch and a light tea. Catering staff will come and collect menu choices.

Car parking

To support you in visiting your baby, free car parking is available for parents. Please ask a member of staff for details.


The hospital cannot accept responsibility for the loss of any property and you are advised not to bring large amounts of money or valuables whilst staying on the unit.


All babies on the Neonatal Unit should have 2 identity labels on and these will be checked regularly. If you notice these have fallen off please inform a member of nursing staff. The unit’s doors are secured and CCTV monitored. Please help us in maintaining security by not admitting visitors when entering or leaving the unit.

  • Mothers automatically have parental consent
  • Fathers have parental consent if married to the mother at the time of birth of the baby
  • Partners have parental consent once the birth certificate has been issued and when both parents were present at the registration
  • Civil partners have parental consent when there is evidence of the formal partnership.


Verifying your identity

When you attend hospital you will be asked to confirm your first and last names, date of birth, postcode, and NHS number if you know it. You will also be asked to confirm whether you have any allergies. Please let us know if there are any changes to address or telephone numbers during your baby’s stay on the unit.

Further information

The following information will be given to you during your stay on the unit:

  • BLISS parent information guide
  • Neonatal Passport
  • Friends and family questionnaire
  • Other leaflets are available on the wall in the the Unit’s main corridor
  • You will be offered training on resuscitation before your baby is discharged from the unit.


Comments, compliments or complaints about your care

Please raise any concerns in the ward or department you are in. Ask to speak with the ward sister, matron or ward manager. If your concerns cannot be resolved or  wish to make a formal complaint, please contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).




Back to top Print This Page