Babies born requiring neonatal care may need to be transferred to a different hospital across the region at some point during their stay. The South West Neonatal Network includes two dedicated Neonatal Transport Teams. These are:
- Peninsula Neonatal Transport Service (PNTS): Based in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and mainly covers the Southern part of the region.
- Neonatal Emergency Stabilisation Team (NEST): Based in St Michael's Hospital in Bristol and mainly covers the Northern part of the region
Transfers from one hospital to another can happen sometimes before birth and sometimes after birth for various reasons. These reasons include:
- your baby has been born very early and requires specialist treatment
- your baby is sick and requires specialist treatment
- to attend clinic appointments in another hospital
- to have surgery at another hospital
- your local unit is full (which happens occasionally)
- to go back to a hospital closer to home
The transport service consists of a team of staff that have been specifically trained to transport critically ill babies. These include Medical Consultants, Specialist Registrars, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and Transport Nurses. They offer advice to your local hospital regards your baby’s care, and communicate with different specialist centres as your baby’s condition requires.
Babies will be transferred in a transport incubator. The transport incubator is specifically designed to give premature and sick babies the surroundings they need to ensure a safe and comfortable transfer. The team also uses equipment similar to that used on the neonatal unit which has been specially designed for transport. It can provide for all the needs of your baby on the move and fits into specially designed ambulances. A parent will always be informed of the transfer before their baby is moved.